Review Category : Poltics

Lindsey Graham’s White House Would Have a ‘Rotating First Lady’

US Senate(WASHINGTON) — What will bachelor Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., do if he’s elected president in 2016 without a first lady?

“I’ve got a lot of friends,” the Republican presidential hopeful joked in an exclusive interview with the UK news outlet Daily Mail Online. “We’ll have a rotating first lady.”

It’s the first time the war hawkish South Carolina senator acknowledged his marital status since he began contemplating a run for the White House in 2016. Officially declaring his candidacy on June 1, interest in Graham’s bachelordom and what its impact might be on his candidacy spiked.

Some spoke out against floating such questions, saying the deeply personal question was unfair and perhaps off-limits to ask at this early stage in the election cycle.

But Graham’s interview Tuesday showed he has no plans of shying away from the matter. In fact, making light of the question assisted Graham in an argument he presented during the interview: He’s fun.

“I’m actually a fun guy. I’m a lot of fun to hang around with. Just ask people who know me,” Graham told Daily Mail Online in response to a question about his personal hobbies. According to their story, Graham advised moments after, “Just ask my Senate colleagues…I think I’ve got a pretty good reputation of bein’ easygoing.”

“I’m a social kind of guy,” Graham declared.

“If I get to be in the White House, I’ll bring Members of Congress and their families down. We”ll interact like Ronald Reagan did, we’ll have a lot of chance to get to know each other.” He added, “I think one of the biggest mistakes President Obama made was being a little too distant.”

In the interview, Graham said a favorite escape of his from the Washington beltway hustle and bustle is going to the movie theater. “Cause you’re sittin’ in the dark and nobody’s botherin’ ya,” he explained.

On what would be a first lady-less White House were he to win the presidency, Graham joked, “I’ve got a lot of friends. We’ll have a rotating first lady.”

As far as movies and music go, Graham has a taste for the classics. “Casablanca is like one of my favorite movies of all time.” On his tune preferences, Graham later added, “I’m stuck in the 60s and early 70s, I’m a Motown guy.”

Despite having embarked on a road filled with tasty temptations, Graham said the carbs hidden “around every corner in the campaign world” haven’t hit him too hard just yet.

“I’m in OK shape, I used to be in pretty good shape…I’m low-carbin’ it,” he said.

It’s a hard lifestyle to maintain, he said, labeling Iowa “the carb city of the world.”

Noting that the early caucus state is also home to a lot of meat, Graham said, “I should be the pork association’s man of the year. I’ve eaten enough bacon to sink a battleship!”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Lindsey Graham’s White House Would Have a ‘Rotating First Lady’

US Senate(WASHINGTON) — What will bachelor Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., do if he’s elected president in 2016 without a first lady?

“I’ve got a lot of friends,” the Republican presidential hopeful joked in an exclusive interview with the UK news outlet Daily Mail Online. “We’ll have a rotating first lady.”

It’s the first time the war hawkish South Carolina senator acknowledged his marital status since he began contemplating a run for the White House in 2016. Officially declaring his candidacy on June 1, interest in Graham’s bachelordom and what its impact might be on his candidacy spiked.

Some spoke out against floating such questions, saying the deeply personal question was unfair and perhaps off-limits to ask at this early stage in the election cycle.

But Graham’s interview Tuesday showed he has no plans of shying away from the matter. In fact, making light of the question assisted Graham in an argument he presented during the interview: He’s fun.

“I’m actually a fun guy. I’m a lot of fun to hang around with. Just ask people who know me,” Graham told Daily Mail Online in response to a question about his personal hobbies. According to their story, Graham advised moments after, “Just ask my Senate colleagues…I think I’ve got a pretty good reputation of bein’ easygoing.”

“I’m a social kind of guy,” Graham declared.

“If I get to be in the White House, I’ll bring Members of Congress and their families down. We”ll interact like Ronald Reagan did, we’ll have a lot of chance to get to know each other.” He added, “I think one of the biggest mistakes President Obama made was being a little too distant.”

In the interview, Graham said a favorite escape of his from the Washington beltway hustle and bustle is going to the movie theater. “Cause you’re sittin’ in the dark and nobody’s botherin’ ya,” he explained.

On what would be a first lady-less White House were he to win the presidency, Graham joked, “I’ve got a lot of friends. We’ll have a rotating first lady.”

As far as movies and music go, Graham has a taste for the classics. “Casablanca is like one of my favorite movies of all time.” On his tune preferences, Graham later added, “I’m stuck in the 60s and early 70s, I’m a Motown guy.”

Despite having embarked on a road filled with tasty temptations, Graham said the carbs hidden “around every corner in the campaign world” haven’t hit him too hard just yet.

“I’m in OK shape, I used to be in pretty good shape…I’m low-carbin’ it,” he said.

It’s a hard lifestyle to maintain, he said, labeling Iowa “the carb city of the world.”

Noting that the early caucus state is also home to a lot of meat, Graham said, “I should be the pork association’s man of the year. I’ve eaten enough bacon to sink a battleship!”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Lindsey Graham’s White House Would Have a ‘Rotating First Lady’

US Senate(WASHINGTON) — What will bachelor Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., do if he’s elected president in 2016 without a first lady?

“I’ve got a lot of friends,” the Republican presidential hopeful joked in an exclusive interview with the UK news outlet Daily Mail Online. “We’ll have a rotating first lady.”

It’s the first time the war hawkish South Carolina senator acknowledged his marital status since he began contemplating a run for the White House in 2016. Officially declaring his candidacy on June 1, interest in Graham’s bachelordom and what its impact might be on his candidacy spiked.

Some spoke out against floating such questions, saying the deeply personal question was unfair and perhaps off-limits to ask at this early stage in the election cycle.

But Graham’s interview Tuesday showed he has no plans of shying away from the matter. In fact, making light of the question assisted Graham in an argument he presented during the interview: He’s fun.

“I’m actually a fun guy. I’m a lot of fun to hang around with. Just ask people who know me,” Graham told Daily Mail Online in response to a question about his personal hobbies. According to their story, Graham advised moments after, “Just ask my Senate colleagues…I think I’ve got a pretty good reputation of bein’ easygoing.”

“I’m a social kind of guy,” Graham declared.

“If I get to be in the White House, I’ll bring Members of Congress and their families down. We”ll interact like Ronald Reagan did, we’ll have a lot of chance to get to know each other.” He added, “I think one of the biggest mistakes President Obama made was being a little too distant.”

In the interview, Graham said a favorite escape of his from the Washington beltway hustle and bustle is going to the movie theater. “Cause you’re sittin’ in the dark and nobody’s botherin’ ya,” he explained.

On what would be a first lady-less White House were he to win the presidency, Graham joked, “I’ve got a lot of friends. We’ll have a rotating first lady.”

As far as movies and music go, Graham has a taste for the classics. “Casablanca is like one of my favorite movies of all time.” On his tune preferences, Graham later added, “I’m stuck in the 60s and early 70s, I’m a Motown guy.”

Despite having embarked on a road filled with tasty temptations, Graham said the carbs hidden “around every corner in the campaign world” haven’t hit him too hard just yet.

“I’m in OK shape, I used to be in pretty good shape…I’m low-carbin’ it,” he said.

It’s a hard lifestyle to maintain, he said, labeling Iowa “the carb city of the world.”

Noting that the early caucus state is also home to a lot of meat, Graham said, “I should be the pork association’s man of the year. I’ve eaten enough bacon to sink a battleship!”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Obama Could Boost Wages for Millions Through Overtime Eligibility

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The Obama administration is poised to give potentially millions of low and middle-income American workers a raise.

ABC News has confirmed that a Labor Department proposal to increase the federal threshold under which employers are required to pay overtime to salaried employees is under review by the Office of Management and Budget. It could be unveiled in the coming days. Such a step would not require any congressional approval.

Some economists and labor advocates say the move would be one of the boldest government actions to boost workers’ wages in years.

“It may even be bigger than increasing the minimum wage,” Bill Samuels, legislative director for the AFL-CIO, told ABC News. “Of course, the minimum wage is something the administration can’t do by itself … but this is one of the things they can do without Congress.”

Currently, employers are required to pay “time-and-a-half” for each hour of work above 40 hours per week to workers making less than $23,660 per year — a federal threshold that has not been adjusted to keep pace with inflation since the 1970s.

President Obama first directed the Labor Department to look at updating the rules governing overtime pay last year.

The administration has reportedly considered raising that threshold to $51,000, which would account for inflation, though neither the White House nor Labor Department would confirm details of the proposed increase.

Between five and 10 million workers could get overtime protections with an increase of the threshold, according to estimates by the Economic Policy Institute. Samuels estimated that roughly six million would stand to benefit, if approved.

Certain salaried workers making as little as $455 per week are not currently entitled to overtime pay by law. That would change with this move.

Not everyone thinks this is a good idea, including many House Republicans and business groups who say it will raise wage costs and result in fewer jobs.

The House Education and Workforce committee will review federal wage and hour standards during a hearing on Wednesday, with the Republican majority on the panel scrutinizing the “complex, burdensome, and outdated” regulatory system created by the 1970s-era Fair Labor Standards Act, which sets overtime protections.

Among those testifying is a vice president of the fast-food chain White Castle, Jamie Richardson, who opposes the proposed move.

“Such a modification [to the federal overtime rules] would curb a manager’s critical ability to multitask in a busy restaurant setting, undermine customer service, limit training opportunities for team members, diminish morale and force complicated assessments of time spent ‘managing’ in a restaurant setting,” Richardson will say, according to excerpts of his testimony obtained by ABC News.

“[They] would impose immense costs on chain restaurants and would stifle opportunities for career advancement for hourly associates who wish to manage our restaurants,” he will say.

The National Retail Federation and National Council of Chain Restaurants estimate a change to the overtime salary threshold would cost businesses more than $5 billion.

News of the pending Labor Department action was first reported by Politico.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Obama Could Boost Wages for Millions Through Overtime Eligibility

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — The Obama administration is poised to give potentially millions of low and middle-income American workers a raise.

ABC News has confirmed that a Labor Department proposal to increase the federal threshold under which employers are required to pay overtime to salaried employees is under review by the Office of Management and Budget. It could be unveiled in the coming days. Such a step would not require any congressional approval.

Some economists and labor advocates say the move would be one of the boldest government actions to boost workers’ wages in years.

“It may even be bigger than increasing the minimum wage,” Bill Samuels, legislative director for the AFL-CIO, told ABC News. “Of course, the minimum wage is something the administration can’t do by itself … but this is one of the things they can do without Congress.”

Currently, employers are required to pay “time-and-a-half” for each hour of work above 40 hours per week to workers making less than $23,660 per year — a federal threshold that has not been adjusted to keep pace with inflation since the 1970s.

President Obama first directed the Labor Department to look at updating the rules governing overtime pay last year.

The administration has reportedly considered raising that threshold to $51,000, which would account for inflation, though neither the White House nor Labor Department would confirm details of the proposed increase.

Between five and 10 million workers could get overtime protections with an increase of the threshold, according to estimates by the Economic Policy Institute. Samuels estimated that roughly six million would stand to benefit, if approved.

Certain salaried workers making as little as $455 per week are not currently entitled to overtime pay by law. That would change with this move.

Not everyone thinks this is a good idea, including many House Republicans and business groups who say it will raise wage costs and result in fewer jobs.

The House Education and Workforce committee will review federal wage and hour standards during a hearing on Wednesday, with the Republican majority on the panel scrutinizing the “complex, burdensome, and outdated” regulatory system created by the 1970s-era Fair Labor Standards Act, which sets overtime protections.

Among those testifying is a vice president of the fast-food chain White Castle, Jamie Richardson, who opposes the proposed move.

“Such a modification [to the federal overtime rules] would curb a manager’s critical ability to multitask in a busy restaurant setting, undermine customer service, limit training opportunities for team members, diminish morale and force complicated assessments of time spent ‘managing’ in a restaurant setting,” Richardson will say, according to excerpts of his testimony obtained by ABC News.

“[They] would impose immense costs on chain restaurants and would stifle opportunities for career advancement for hourly associates who wish to manage our restaurants,” he will say.

The National Retail Federation and National Council of Chain Restaurants estimate a change to the overtime salary threshold would cost businesses more than $5 billion.

News of the pending Labor Department action was first reported by Politico.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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First Lady Obama Invokes South Side Roots at Chicago High School Graduation

File photo. Lawrence Jackson/The White House(CHICAGO) — First Lady Michelle Obama Tuesday night delivered a personal and powerful commencement address at a high school on Chicago’s south side, invoking her own life story as a testament to what she described as a new era of possibility for America’s minority youth.

Mrs. Obama told graduates of King College Prep, a school not far from the Obamas’ Kenwood home and in a predominantly African-American neighborhood, that she was “not at all surprised” by the students’ accomplishments and dedication because she knew the community.

“I was born on the South Side and was a child of the south shore… I know the struggles many of you face. How you walk the long way home to avoid the gangs. How you fight to concentrate on homework when [there is] too much noise at home,” she said. “I know the families on the South Side…Most families here are tight. Bound together by the kind of love that gets stronger when its tested.”

Mrs. Obama said high-profile gang shootings, high drop-out rates, and increased levels of drug abuse in some minority communities have created a “skewed narrative” across the country, that it’s considered remarkable when a “young person graduates high school and goes to college as a ‘beat-the-odds’ kind of hero.”

She argued that her example, and that of the graduating class, proves that success is not remarkable at all.

“You all are responsible for changing the narrative about our communities,” Obama said.

“With every word you speak, with every choice you make, with the way you carry yourself each day, you are re-writing the story of our communities,” said Mrs. Obama. “That’s a burden president Obama and I proudly carry every day at the White House, because we know that everything we do or say can either confirm the myths about folks like us, or it can change those myths.

“Graduates, starting today it’s your job to make sure no one ever again is surprised by who we are and where we come from,” she said.

The first lady also paid tribute to the memory of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old student and member of the King College Prep class of 2015 who was killed in an episode of gang violence back in 2013. Mrs. Obama attended her funeral and has also invoked her death in a push for stricter gun control laws.

“Many of you are thinking about Haydia [with a] hole in your hearts,” she said. “Every scar that you have is not just a reminder that you got hurt, but that you survived… and that as painful as they are, those holes we all have in our hearts are what truly connect us with each other.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Obama Action Could Boost Wages for Millions

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Through executive action, the Obama administration is poised to give potentially millions of low and middle-income American workers a raise.

ABC News has confirmed that a Labor Department proposal to expand the federal threshold under which employers are required to pay overtime is currently under review by the Office of Management and Budget. It could be publicly unveiled in the coming days. Such a step would not require any congressional approval.

Some economists and labor advocates say the move would be one of the boldest government actions to boost workers’ wages in years.

“It may even be bigger than increasing the minimum wage,” Bill Samuels, legislative director for the AFL-CIO, told ABC News. “Of course, the minimum wage is something the administration can’t do by itself…but this is one of the things they can do without Congress.”

Currently, employers are legally required to pay “time-and-a-half” for each hour of work above 40 hours per week to workers making less than $23,660/year – a threshold that has not been adjusted for inflation since the 1970s.

President Obama first directed the Labor Department to look at updating the rules governing overtime pay last year.

The administration has reportedly considered raising that threshold to $51,000, which would account for inflation, though neither the White House nor Labor Department would confirm details of the proposed increase.

Between 5 and 10 million workers could get overtime protections with an increase of the threshold, according to estimates by the Economic Policy Institute. Samuels estimated roughly 6 million would stand to benefit, if approved.

Someone making as little as $455/week is not currently entitled to overtime pay by law, according to a Labor Department official. That individual would get a raise under the proposed move.

Not everyone thinks this is a good idea, including many House Republicans and business groups who say it will raise wage costs and result in fewer jobs.

The House Education and Workforce committee will review federal wage and hour standards during a hearing on Wednesday, with the Republican majority on the panel scrutinizing the “complex, burdensome, and outdated” regulatory system created by the ‘70s-era Fair Labor Standards Act, which sets overtime protections.

Among those testifying is a vice president of the fast-food chain White Castle, Jamie Richardson, who opposes the proposed move.

“Rather than providing more opportunities for individuals to earn overtime pay, it appears that the new regulations will only result in a more complicated law, requiring outside legal advice for small businesses, and more litigation,” Richardson will say, according to advance testimony obtained by ABC News.

“At White Castle, we are 94 years into a ‘wild experiment in the hamburger business’ that illustrates first hand that more jobs and more opportunity for more people is not only desirable, it is achievable. It is less achievable when lawmakers and regulators, perhaps with the best intentions, feel the need to be overly proscriptive in ways that ignore the real world realities of our businesses and our communities,” he will say.

News of the pending Labor Department action was first reported by Politico.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Lawmakers Resist Blaming China For Federal Data Hack

scyther5/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Administration officials are still working to determine who is responsible for the massive data hack potentially involving millions of federal employees, Members of Congress briefed on the investigation said Tuesday night.

Members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence received a briefing Tuesday evening from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Department of Homeland Security and Office of Personnel Management.

While China is widely viewed as the prime suspect responsible for the hack, Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the committee, declined to point the finger directly at China – emphasizing that the investigators are still searching for answers.

“We can’t get into that at this point until the investigation because you don’t want to go off with something that’s not true,” Nunes, R-California, told reporters after the briefing. “I just think it’s important for all of us to step back, let the investigation take place so we get the right information out to the public.”

Nunes also said that the administration is still working to determine the scope of the hack and exactly whose information may have been compromised.

“This is early on in the investigation, we’ve encouraged the administration and executive branch to get us as much information as possible as quickly as possible, so that the oversight committees are well informed as this investigation is ongoing,” Nunes said. “It’s too soon to know exactly what was taken and whether or not that information can be accessed.”

“It’s important for everyone to know, all Americans to know, that information is just not safe out there running on the superhighways. It’s just not safe and it’s only as good as the next hacker that comes along,” he added.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said that officials are still working to determine what the motivation was behind the attack – whether it is economic- or intelligence-based – and what the impact might be in the long-term.

“This is a very serious breach and the repercussions are as yet undetermined,” Schiff, D-California, said.

“They’re still trying to ascertain the scope of the damage and I think any time you talk about the personal files involving potentially 4 million current and former federal employees, it’s hard to see where it stops in terms of several degrees of separation because obviously others may be mentioned in those personal files so I don’t think we can say with any kind of certainty that anyone is beyond impact here,” he said.

Schiff said the scope of the hack “certainly goes back potentially decades” in terms of the information that was potentially accessed, but officials are still working to determine exactly which files may have been compromised.

“Even in terms of the scope of those 4 million [federal employees], access doesn’t always mean compromise of that information,” Schiff said. “Generally an investigation of this kind you assume the worst so you assume the files were access, they’ve been compromised, and you have to act accordingly, you have to try to mitigate accordingly, but we’re [going to] try to do everything possible to determine what the extent of the loss of actual information was.”

Schiff said the government continues to “make progress” in terms of attribution of the hack, but does not have a strong enough case to go public.

“We’ll have to wait for the point where the administration feels comfortable making a public attribution. At this point, that’s not something that we can do,” he said.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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John Kerry Releases First Photo Since Bike Crash

@JohnKerry/Twitter(BOSTON) — Secretary of State John Kerry released the first photo of himself on Tuesday since he broke his leg in a cycling accident on May 31 while riding near the French Alps outside Geneva.

He had surgery exactly one week ago to set his broken femur at Massachusetts General Hospital and has remained there since while he undoes physical therapy.

Meanwhile, new questions are emerging about whether he’ll be able to travel overseas at the end of this month to complete the Iran nuclear negotiations.

Kerry and his counterparts from six world powers and Iran have until the end of the month to hash out a final deal. The talks are expected to take place in Vienna, Austria.

When an interim deal was reached in April, the negotiating parties conducted eight straight days of talks, often on just a few hours of sleep. Kerry is known for his frenetic pace, but last week’s bike accident has forced him to slow down.

In the days following the accident, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf insisted that Kerry would be ready to attend the talks in person and stressed repeatedly that this was important to him. When asked if he planned to be in the room where talks are taking place, Harf responded, “Absolutely.”

But on Tuesday, eight days later, asked again if Kerry plans to attend the talks, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke was less emphatic.

“That’s something that, you know, he and his doctors will have to, you know, keep under — keep under review, so I don’t have — I don’t have a timeline,” Rathke said.

If it’s eventually determined that Kerry is unable to travel, it’s possible that the talks could be moved to New York City. But U.S. officials said that so far there have been no discussions about changing venues.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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John Kerry Releases First Photo Since Bike Crash

@JohnKerry/Twitter(BOSTON) — Secretary of State John Kerry released the first photo of himself on Tuesday since he broke his leg in a cycling accident on May 31 while riding near the French Alps outside Geneva.

He had surgery exactly one week ago to set his broken femur at Massachusetts General Hospital and has remained there since while he undoes physical therapy.

Meanwhile, new questions are emerging about whether he’ll be able to travel overseas at the end of this month to complete the Iran nuclear negotiations.

Kerry and his counterparts from six world powers and Iran have until the end of the month to hash out a final deal. The talks are expected to take place in Vienna, Austria.

When an interim deal was reached in April, the negotiating parties conducted eight straight days of talks, often on just a few hours of sleep. Kerry is known for his frenetic pace, but last week’s bike accident has forced him to slow down.

In the days following the accident, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf insisted that Kerry would be ready to attend the talks in person and stressed repeatedly that this was important to him. When asked if he planned to be in the room where talks are taking place, Harf responded, “Absolutely.”

But on Tuesday, eight days later, asked again if Kerry plans to attend the talks, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke was less emphatic.

“That’s something that, you know, he and his doctors will have to, you know, keep under — keep under review, so I don’t have — I don’t have a timeline,” Rathke said.

If it’s eventually determined that Kerry is unable to travel, it’s possible that the talks could be moved to New York City. But U.S. officials said that so far there have been no discussions about changing venues.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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