WBEZ | President Obama http://www.wbez.org/tags/president-obama Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Feds set to divert refugee funds to deal with unaccompanied minors http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/feds-set-divert-refugee-funds-deal-unaccompanied-minors-110594 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Refugee cuts 2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Refugee assistance agencies in Illinois are steeling themselves for dramatic cuts in federal funding, which threaten to gut core services aimed at helping newcomers adjust and integrate to life in the U.S. The money instead is slated to go toward dealing with a crisis of unaccompanied minors streaming over the southern border, overwhelming temporary shelters that the U.S. is scrambling to expand.</p><p>&ldquo;This is really an impossible situation that we&rsquo;re being put in, in which we have to rob Peter to pay Paul, so to speak, and have to choose between two vulnerable groups of people,&rdquo; said Erol Kekic, chair of the Refugee Council USA and Director of Immigration and Refugee services at Church World Service.</p><p>&ldquo;This is happening against the backdrop of this incredible upheaval that is plaguing our world at this point in time with (the) refugee crisis getting way out of hand in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Somalia, etc,&rdquo; he added, &ldquo;and (the) U.S. has to do its part to assist in this process.&rdquo;</p><p>In Illinois, resettlement agencies and refugee support organizations stand to lose a total of $2.7 million in funds from the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement. The agency is responsible for services rendered to refugees from their point of arrival in the U.S., to up to five years after. Refugees, unlike unaccompanied minors, are legally present in the U.S., and have already undergone rigorous background checks by the Department of Homeland Security and immigration authorities before they are admitted to the U.S. by the State Department.</p><p>Statewide, the cuts represent $1.3 million in core programming for refugees, and an additional $1.4 million in discretionary grants which fund services for K-12 children, seniors, preventative health care, and intensive case management for refugees with particularly acute need of assistance. Currently, Illinois provides these services to about 3,500 refugees, according to Deborah Covington, Vice President of Planning and Allocation for Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago. That organization is Illinois&rsquo;s prime contractor for distributing and overseeing the bulk of ORR refugee funds.</p><p>Covington said programs funded by the discretionary grants will be completely eliminated. The state&rsquo;s seven refugee resettlement agencies, and two additional resettlement support organizations, will have discretion as to how to accommodate the cuts in core programming.</p><p>&ldquo;When budgetary crises happen, and we have a humanitarian crisis that&rsquo;s going on on the border, it&rsquo;s inappropriate to pit one deserving group against another,&rdquo; said Covington. &ldquo;The pie needs to be expanded, not simply rearranging the pie that&rsquo;s there.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;We would pretty much be gutting our services,&rdquo; said Melineh Kano, Executive Director of RefugeeONE, which resettles the largest number of refugees in the City of Chicago. &ldquo;We have nine programs. Of the nine programs, four would totally shut down, and two programs would be drastically reduced.&rdquo;</p><p>Kano said unless Congress passes an emergency supplemental funding bill that replenishes the cuts, she will likely have to eliminate core services as soon as October 1. Slated for the chopping block would be programs for youth, seniors, intensive case management, medical case management, and English language training. In addition, she will drastically reduce regular case management services with bilingual staff and employment services. Kano anticipates she will have to cut 10 of her 33 full-time employees, and 7 of her 11 part-time employees.</p><p>&ldquo;Now, what that translates into in terms of service provision is that you have to have intensive services to help single mothers, to help individuals who perhaps don&rsquo;t have significant literacy skills, to help individuals who have been warehoused in refugee camps for several years, to be able to adjust to life in Chicago and become self-sufficient,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>Kano and others said cuts would also come at a time that refugees need them more than ever. In accord with a <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/10/02/presidential-memorandum-refugee-admissions-fiscal-year-2014">Presidential Determination</a>, which announces the number of refugees that the U.S. may accept in a given fiscal year, and from which area of the world, the U.S. has increasingly been taking refugees from countries such as the Congo, Iraq, Bhutan, and starting next year, Syria.</p><p>&ldquo;These are definitely individuals who have been through war and trauma,&rdquo; said Kano, &ldquo;and without the important programs that we are here to provide for them, they would really have (a) hard time to integrate into society here and become self-sufficient.&rdquo;</p><p>Refugee advocates are hopeful that federal lawmakers will reach an agreement on a supplemental funding bill to replenish the cuts by September 30. While a proposal by President Barack Obama to provide $3.7 billion toward handling the unaccompanied minors crisis would have made the refugee services whole, neither the House nor Senate have shown an appetite for such a large allocation. In particular, funding contemplated by House GOP leaders doesn&rsquo;t appear to come close to restoring the cuts for refugee services.</p><p>&ldquo;The House leadership is interested in passing legislation that provides much less funding and is much more focused on border enforcement and limiting the President&rsquo;s authority than they are in really solving the humanitarian crisis,&rdquo; said Fred Tsao, Senior Policy Director at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re still hoping that some kind of resolution will take place,&rdquo; he added, &ldquo;but obviously the clock is running.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Odette Yousef is WBEZ&rsquo;s North Side Bureau reporter. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/oyousef">@oyousef</a> and&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/feds-set-divert-refugee-funds-deal-unaccompanied-minors-110594 Morning Shift: Holding on to your culture, while learning a new one http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-09-11/morning-shift-holding-your-culture-while-learning-new <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Hands - Flickr - Jlhopgood.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Today we take the political community&#39;s temperature in regards to President Obama&#39;s speech on Syria. Also, what cultural traditions do you keep, and what do you abandon, when assimilating to a new culture?</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-62/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-62.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-62" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Holding on to your culture, while learning a new one" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 11 Sep 2013 08:04:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-09-11/morning-shift-holding-your-culture-while-learning-new Obama taps Penny Pritzker for Commerce secretary http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-taps-penny-pritzker-commerce-secretary-106942 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Bill Healy - Board of Ed pics 374 copy.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>President Barack Obama on Thursday chose two old friends with corporate executive experience for top posts on his economic team, naming longtime fundraiser Penny Pritzker as Commerce secretary and adviser Michael Froman as U.S. Trade Representative.</p><p>Pritzker, a Hyatt hotel heiress, businesswoman and philanthropist, is Obama&#39;s pick to fill a Cabinet post that has been vacant since former Secretary John Bryson resigned last summer, after he said he suffered a seizure that led to a series of traffic collisions.</p><p>Froman is one of Obama&#39;s law school classmates and senior economic advisers who previously worked as an executive at Citigroup. The Cabinet-level trade representative performs as the administration&#39;s top adviser and negotiator on international trade. If confirmed by the Senate, Froman would replace Ron Kirk, a former Dallas mayor who stepped down as trade representative in February after serving in the post throughout Obama&#39;s first term.</p><p>Obama made the nominations in the White House Rose Garden just before departing for Mexico. He said the two will help fulfill his top priority to grow the economy and create middle class jobs, in part by opening new markets overseas to sell U.S. products.</p><p>&quot;They&#39;ve got a lot of work to do, and I intend to work them to the bone as soon as they&#39;re official,&quot; Obama said to laughter from a crowd that included the nominees&#39; families and administration staff.</p><p>If she is confirmed by the Senate, Pritzker would become the fourth woman serving as secretary in Obama&#39;s current Cabinet. She also would be the wealthiest in the Cabinet by far, with Forbes estimating her net worth at $1.85 billion and ranking her as the 277th richest American.</p><p>Pritzker is a lifelong Chicagoan who has known Obama since the 1990s and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for both of his presidential campaigns. She was his finance chairwoman in 2008, served as co-chair of Obama for America 2012 and gave $250,000 to help put on his inaugural festivities in January.</p><p>Obama selected her for his 16-member Presidential Economic Recovery Advisory Board in 2009. When that board expired, Obama included her in his 26-member Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.</p><p>Pritzker has led several companies and currently serves as chair of investment firms Pritzker Realty Group and Artemis Real Estate Partners. She&#39;s also on the board of the Hyatt Hotels Corp., the chain co-founded by her father.</p><p>Pritzker has donated generously to education and the arts and resigned from the Chicago Board of Education in March as she was being vetted for the Commerce nomination.</p><p>&quot;She knows from experience that no government program alone can take the place of a great entrepreneur,&quot; Obama said. He also noted he was nominating her on her 54th birthday and joked, &quot;For your birthday present, you get to go through confirmation. It&#39;s going to be great.&quot;</p><p>Sure to come up is the Pritzker family&#39;s co-ownership of Superior Bank, a Chicago-area thrift that failed in July 2001 after losing millions on risky, high-rate mortgage loans to borrowers with bad credit. With about $1.7 billion in assets, it was at the time the largest insured U.S. financial institution to fail since 1992 and cost the deposit insurance fund $286.3 million.</p><p>Federal regulators blamed risky business strategies by Superior&#39;s management for the collapse, but they also cited failures on the part of its auditor Ernst &amp; Young.</p><p>The Pritzker family and its partner in Superior agreed to pay $460 million without admitting any liability in a settlement with the regulators. In exchange, the owners were allowed to receive 25 percent of any money the government recovered from Ernst &amp; Young, which came to about $31 million.</p><p>Froman, Obama&#39;s deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs, is steeped in the issues confronting the trade representative.</p><p>He has been Obama&#39;s main representative at international economic summits such as the meetings of the Group of Eight and Group of 20. He is responsible for coordinating White House policy on international trade, investments, energy, climate and development.</p><p>Obama credited Froman with helping negotiate trade agreements for South Korea, Colombia and Panama that the president said have supported tens of thousands of U.S. jobs.</p><p>&quot;He has also won a reputation as being an extraordinarily tough negotiator while doing it,&quot; Obama said. &quot;He does not rest until he&#39;s delivered the best possible deal for American businesses and American workers. He&#39;s fought to make sure that countries that break the rules are held accountable.&quot;</p><p>Froman served during President Bill Clinton&#39;s administration as chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin. He also worked as deputy assistant secretary for Eurasia and the Middle East and did a White House stint similar to his current job under Obama.</p><p>Before joining the Obama economic and national security teams he worked in various capacities at Citigroup, including as managing partner of the Wall Street bank. He also has been a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a resident fellow at the German Marshall Fund.</p><p>Among the top ongoing trade issues are negotiations over the Trans-Pacific partnership, an Asia-Pacific trading bloc that is key to Obama&#39;s efforts to boost exports to Asia. Members include the U.S., Australia, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Vietnam, Chile, New Zealand, Brunei, Singapore and Peru. Last month, the U.S. approved Japan&#39;s entry into negotiations on the trading bloc.</p><p>___</p><p>AP White House Correspondent Julie Pace, AP Business Writer Marcy Gordon and AP writer Jim Kuhnhenn contributed to this report.</p></p> Thu, 02 May 2013 06:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/obama-taps-penny-pritzker-commerce-secretary-106942 Playing hoops with the President http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-01/playing-hoops-president-105011 <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/rsz_obama-basketball-2-11061-cbs-chicago.jpg" style="height: 225px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="Former Bull Randy Brown (far right) had a thrill playing basketball with the President on Election Day. ( Photo courtesy from Randy Brown)" />It was not an ordinary pick-up game. There was a star bigger than any player former Bulls guard Randy Brown had met with on the court. Bigger than his former teammate Michael Jordan. Another former teammate, Scottie Pippen, was there. But the spotlight was on the President.</div><p>It was a day Brown will remember for the rest of his life. Brown knew President Barack Obama and had played basketball with him before. However, this day was different. It was Election Day.</p><p>Brown played 12 years in the NBA and from 1995-2000 he was a member of the Chicago Bulls. He was part of three NBA titles with the Bulls. He became aquainted with Obama while playing here when Obama was a Illinois state senator. They played pick-up games at the East Bank Club during those days. The President had the same modus operandi for Election Day in 2008, but the former Bull was in California and not part of the action that day.</p><p>When Brown and I talked about the 2012 Election Day game, he still seemed astonished by the magnitude of the moment. The President&rsquo;s close friend and confidante Marty Nesbitt, initiated the contact through another former NBA player and it was all supposed to be done under secrecy.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;They didn&rsquo;t want the crowds around the gym,&quot; Brown said. &quot;We were told to keep it a secret. I tried my best.&rdquo;</p><p>He did have to spill to a few people, mainly his bosses. Brown works for the Bulls as an assistant to General Manager Gar Forman. He told Forman and Bull&#39;s President John Paxson so he could get permission to leave the office. There was one more person he couldn&rsquo;t keep the secret from, his wife Tamara. &nbsp;They did manage to keep it from their children. After the fact, when they found out that their dad had participated in this game with the President, Brown was &ldquo;cool&rdquo; again to his children.&nbsp;</p><p>As to the actual action, Brown wasn&rsquo;t figuring it was going to be much of a contest, just a little &ldquo;hoop&rdquo; play.</p><p>It was four-twelve minute quarters, with three referees and fouls and free throws.</p><p>&ldquo;It was like a real game,&rdquo; Brown said.</p><p>There were at least 20 participants, including staff members, Reggie Love, John Rogers, former Bull Jeff Sanders and Arne Duncan. Nesbitt was the coach for the team that included Brown and Pippen. The President&rsquo;s team was coached by his brother-in-law and Oregon State coach Craig Robinson. &nbsp;</p><p>Father time may be catching up to this group, but Brown said it was competitive and the President can still shoot. Maybe the two-and-a-half hour game was an omen. The President&rsquo;s team pulled out the win.</p><p>&ldquo;He was calm, laid back and casual,&rdquo; Brown said about Obama. &ldquo;He just wanted to go out and have fun.&rdquo;</p><p>Randy Brown wasn&rsquo;t a star in the NBA; he was a role player from the West side of Chicago.</p><p>When I asked him what this pick-up game meant to him in regards to his basketball career, Brown hoped his former Bulls teammates won&rsquo;t mind his sentiments.</p><p>&ldquo;My first NBA Championship in my hometown was a dream come true,&quot; Brown said. &quot;I got to play with the President of the United States of America. It is right up there.&rdquo;</p><p>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout" target="_blank">@CRayeStout</a> and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame" target="_blank">Cheryl Raye Stout #AtTheGame</a>.</p></p> Mon, 21 Jan 2013 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2013-01/playing-hoops-president-105011 Obama will use family Bible for presidential swearing in http://www.wbez.org/sections/religion/obama-will-use-family-bible-presidential-swearing-105031 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F75499640" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/398px-Lincoln_inaugural_bible.jpg" style="float: right; height: 452px; width: 300px;" title="President Abraham Lincoln's bible. (Wikimedia Commons)" />When Barack Obama is sworn in as president during the private Sunday ceremony, he&rsquo;ll bring some of his wife&rsquo;s family history to that ritual, namely the Bible from wife Michelle&#39;s family&nbsp;&mdash; the Robinsons.</p><p>The Robinson Family Bible was a gift from the First Lady&rsquo;s father to his mother. Fraser Robinson III gave it to LaVaughn Delores Robinson on Mother&rsquo;s Day in 1958. She used the Bible regularly.</p><p>Omar McRoberts, a sociology professor at the University of Chicago who studies black religious life, said Obama&rsquo;s use of the Robinson Bible gives the public a peek into the president.<br /><br />&quot;It&rsquo;s a statement about his private identity, that is, his personal identity. As someone who identifies closely with his wife&rsquo;s family&rsquo;s African-American Christian heritage,&quot; McRoberts said.<br /><br />On Monday Obama will be sworn in using two other Bibles: President Abraham Lincoln&rsquo;s and Dr. Martin Luther King&rsquo;s.</p></p> Fri, 18 Jan 2013 16:05:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/sections/religion/obama-will-use-family-bible-presidential-swearing-105031 The president as 'Decider in Chief' http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-10/president-decider-chief-103102 <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/rsz_ap877785493965.jpg" title="President Barack Obama exiting the Marine One (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)" /></div><p>Michael Lewis scored a journalistic coup with the recent publication of the article &ldquo;Obama&rsquo;s Way&rdquo; in<em> Vanity Fair</em>. For six months, Lewis was granted almost unlimited access to the President. He &ldquo;hung around&rdquo; Mr. Obama in the White House, aboard Air Force One, on the basketball court and even in the president&rsquo;s favorite private place, the Truman Balcony, which faces the South Lawn of the White House.</p><p>As a student of leadership, the most fascinating factoid in the piece for me was President Obama&rsquo;s reflections on decision-making. To begin with, both Lewis and Obama agree that if there is a central task of the presidency, it is making decisions. &ldquo;Putting it the way George W. Bush did sounds silly, but he was right: The president is a <em>decider</em>.&rdquo; From the moment the president wakes up in the morning, and often when an emergency causes him to be awoken in the middle of the night, decisions are thrust upon him. Some of these decisions are pre-scheduled or planned in advance. For example, cabinet meetings to decide on this or that policy or legislative act. But many if not most decisions are thrust upon the president out of the blue and without warning. Decisions like what to do or how to respond to &ldquo;oil spills, financial panics, pandemics, earthquakes, fires, coups, invasions, underwear bombers, movie-theater shootings, and on and on and on!&rdquo;</p><p>The president lamented that most of the things that hit his desk are not &ldquo;perfectly solvable.&rdquo; And no matter how much information you have in front of you, it&rsquo;s either never perfect or never enough. And so, said Obama, you wind up dealing with &ldquo;probabilities,&rdquo; best estimates and well warranted guesses. Mr. Obama suggested that in theory you want to be able to reduce all choices to a &ldquo;binary decision.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s either this or that, but most situations are full of nuances and shades of grey, which don&rsquo;t always allow you to say: The answer it A and clearly not B, so let&rsquo;s go with A. In the end, said the president, you make a choice, you hope it&rsquo;s right, and you learn that right or wrong, you&rsquo;re going to have to live with that choice.</p><p>Michael Lewis learned in the course of his time with the president that Obama has come up with a few tricks in order to survive as our national &ldquo;<em>decider</em>.&rdquo; 1) Work out every day. 2) Find time for yourself away from the job. 3) The act of making decisions actually degrades one&rsquo;s ability to make further decisions. So, said Obama, you need to remove as many day-to-day decisions as you can. &ldquo;I wear only gray and blue suits&hellip; I&rsquo;m trying,&rdquo; said the president, &ldquo;to par down my decisions. I don&rsquo;t want to make decisions about what I&rsquo;m eating or wearing&hellip; I have too many other (important) decisions to make.&rdquo;</p><p>In this job, Mr. Obama suggested there&rsquo;s no place to hide. Decisions can&rsquo;t be avoided. Decisions must be made.</p><p><em>Al Gini is a Professor of Business Ethics and Chairman of the Management Department in the Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago.</em></p></p> Thu, 18 Oct 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-10/president-decider-chief-103102 Best Game in Town: Rising temperatures mirror political climate http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/best-game-town-rising-temperatures-mirror-political-climate-101388 <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/obama%20money%20AP.jpg" style="width: 466px; height: 338px;" title="(AP/file)" /></div><p>With less than 100 days before the general election, August temperatures aren&rsquo;t the only things on the rise. Political campaigns have grown more contentious&mdash;and expensive. President Obama shattered fundraising records when he raised more than $750 million for his 2008 campaign. But that was before <em>Citizens United</em>. The Supreme Court decision recognized political spending as a form of protected free speech, giving corporations and unions the ability to spend unlimited amounts of money to support or denounce a candidate. And while Obama remains the reigning champ, Mitt Romney appears to be the odds-on favorite to get dough from America&rsquo;s top CEOs. According to a review of federal records by <a href="http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/30/13034655-top-ceos-donate-to-romney-over-obama-by-4-1-margin?lite" target="_blank">NBC News</a>, the former governor and presumptive Republican nominee, charms four chief executives for every one the president nabs.</p><p>Campaign cash isn&rsquo;t the only high-stakes game in presidential politics&mdash;it&rsquo;s not even the best pun. For that, political watchdogs and odds-makers look to the almighty Veepstakes. Still no word on a ticket-mate for Romney but time is running out (pun entirely intended): The Republican National Convention kicks off in Tampa, Florida on August 27<sup>th</sup>.</p><p>So, as the political climate began to boil, <em>Afternoon Shift</em> threw the <em>Best Game in Town </em>back on the burner. Host Steve Edwards was joined by a pair of political strategists: Democrat <a href="http://www.kurthlampe.com/" target="_blank">Kitty Kurth</a> and Republican Doug O&rsquo;Brien, of Prairie State Strategies. Together they tackled a host of hot topics--from key local Congressional races to campaign blunders made thus far.</p><p>With the party conventions on the horizon, O&#39;Brien (not this one, the other one) expects the events to be a&nbsp; bit of a snooze--unless Romney announces Justin Bieber as his VP. To which I say, in the name of Beliebers the world over...&quot;Never Say Never.&quot;</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="293" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/_Z5-P9v3F8w" width="517"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 01 Aug 2012 14:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-08/best-game-town-rising-temperatures-mirror-political-climate-101388 David Maraniss demystifies President Obama's early years in new biography http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/david-maraniss-demystifies-president-obamas-early-years-new-biography-100816 <p><div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/barack_obama_2011.png" style="width: 452px; height: 290px;" title="(Getty/file)" /></div><p>If nothing else, <a href="http://davidmaraniss.com/" target="_blank">David Maraniss</a> is thorough. But he and his new biography, <em>Barack Obama: The Story</em>, are so much more. The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Clinton biographer poured four years of research, hundreds of interviews and his meticulous review of thousands of documents, letters and journals into a nearly 600-page, multigenerational portrait of the 44th president.</p></div><div>Despite its girth, the biography is incomplete: Maraniss begins decades before the president is born and ends before he enters Harvard Law School. But the buzz around the bio is that Maraniss&rsquo; account is more complete than the president&rsquo;s own, as told in his 2004 memoir, <em>Dreams of My Father</em>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Presidential biographies are nothing new; really, they&rsquo;re inevitable. The difference here is that Obama is a sitting president&mdash;running for reelection. As such, the book is fair game for fodder. Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh discussed Maraniss&#39; book on his show and said, &quot;He [Maraniss] thought he was writing an election-year Valentine for Obama.&quot; But instead, Limbaugh posited, Maraniss highlighted a flawed understanding of the president.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/uho0BvQYCIs" width="420"></iframe></p><p>Maraniss joins <em>Afternoon Shift</em> host Steve Edwards for an extended chat about the book. Maraniss will be signing copies of <em>Barack Obama: The Story</em> at the Harold Washington Library Center <a href="http://www.wbez.org/david-maraniss-100514" target="_blank">Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m</a>.</p></p> Wed, 11 Jul 2012 15:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/david-maraniss-demystifies-president-obamas-early-years-new-biography-100816 Feds, 5 states to push for Great Lakes wind farms http://www.wbez.org/story/feds-5-states-push-great-lakes-wind-farms-97754 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-March/2012-03-30/Wind farm_Flickr_Alex Bruns.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Obama administration and five states have agreed to speed up approval of offshore wind farms in the Great Lakes.</p><p>There are no wind turbines in the lakes at present. Proposals have met fierce opposition from people worried the structures would ruin views and harm the environment.</p><p>Under the deal, federal and state agencies will develop a plan to speed regulatory review of proposed offshore wind farms. Officials say the projects would have to meet safety and environmental standards.</p><p>States that signed the deal include Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania.</p><p>Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin declined.</p><p>Administration officials disclosed the agreement to The Associated Press before a scheduled announcement Friday.</p></p> Fri, 30 Mar 2012 14:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/feds-5-states-push-great-lakes-wind-farms-97754 Worldview 1.25.12 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-12512 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/episode/images/2012-january/2012-01-25/egypt1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Worldview</em> delves into the foreign policy dimensions of President Obama’s State of the Union address with <a href="http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/meet_the_staff#14" target="_blank">Uri Friedman</a>. He's associate editor at <em>Foreign Policy</em>. Also, Wael Ghonim has been called the “Facebook freedom fighter” and “the man behind the revolution.” To mark the one-year anniversary of Egypt’s uprising, <em>Worldview</em> talks to Wael. The activist and former Google executive is credited with jump-starting the fall of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s 30-year dictator, and creating momentum that spread across the Arab world. His new memoir is <em>Revolution 2.0: The Power of the People is Greater than the People in Power</em>. <a href="http://www.ahmedrehab.com/" target="_blank">Ahmed Rehab</a>, executive director of Chicago’s <a href="http://www.cairchicago.org/" target="_blank">Council on American-Islamic Relations</a>, will also join the conversation.</p></p> Wed, 25 Jan 2012 15:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-12512