FROM Susan Milligan
The Minimum Wage, Income Inequality and Presidential Politics Two years ago New York City, 200 fast food workers demanded a minimum wage of $15 an hour. They started something. Since then, legal minimums have been raised in red states as well as blue. The current federal floor is $7.25, and President Obama has proposed $10.10. Democrats in Congress are now pushing a federal floor of $12 an hour. Some Republican presidential hopefuls are talking about working class beginnings and cheap off-the-rack sweaters. Are we seeing a political movement? With voters still suffering in the aftermath of the Recession, we look at how income inequality is emerging as a major issue in next year’s campaign.
Barney Frank Calls It Quits In 1987, Democrat Barney Frank of Massachusetts became the first member of Congress to publicly come out as gay. Since then, he's become a powerhouse, chairing the House Financial Services Committee when his party was in control. Today, after 30 years in Congress, Frank announced that he won't seek re-election next year, citing recent redistricting. Susan Milligan writes about politics and foreign affairs for US News and World Report .
Romney Makes It Official, but Will Palin Steal the Spotlight? At the Bittersweet Farm in Strathum, New Hampshire today, Mitt Romney made official what everyone's known for years: he's running for the Republican nomination for President. His ultimate target, of course, is the incumbent Democrat, Barack Obama . We hear what he said and why he said it in New Hampshire, with Sarah Palin just down the road, and look at the rest of a sprawling Republican presidential field.
Can the Republicans Find a Road to the White House? Mitt Romney 's second campaign for President is old news, so today's "official" announcement at Bittersweet Farm in Strathum, New Hampshire was supposed to show the media it's time to get serious. But Sarah Palin gets massive news coverage just by riding a Harley or eating pizza with Donald Trump on a trip she insists is not really political. In Iowa, Tim Pawlenty does it the old fashioned way — meeting with small groups of voters — while candidates who aren't even running get the attention. Can Romney maintain his Republican front-runner status? Can the GOP agree on a message against incumbent Democrat, Barack Obama ?
Massachusetts Senate Race: Healthcare and More in the Balance Stumping for Martha Coakley in Massachusetts yesterday, President Obama referred to modern reality in the US Senate, where passing legislation requires not just a majority of 51 votes but a super-majority of 60 votes to avoid a filibuster.
Massachusetts Senate Race: Healthcare and More in the Balance In the bluest state in the nation, Republicans are all fired up and ready to go, and the Democrats could lose the US Senate seat held by the late Ted Kennedy. Yesterday, President Obama made a last-ditch effort to get Massachusetts voters to replace Kennedy with a Democrat . Will the "liberal lion" be replaced by a conservative who wants to kill Kennedy's dream of healthcare reform and scuttle President Obama's legislative agenda? We get the latest on tomorrow's special election and look at the Senate rule that makes it important nationwide. Is the filibuster a reasonable way to protect the minority or does it make a mockery of majority rule?
Senator Kennedy at the Convention Edward Kennedy is part of a First Family of Democrats, who has survived his brothers to serve in the Senate for almost 46 years. He's now suffering from brain cancer, and he'll be the subject of a special celebration tonight on the convention floor. He has flown to Denver for the occasion. Susan Milligan of the Boston Globe tells us what to expect.
On Potomac Primary Day, Clinton Focuses on Later Contests Rudy Giuliani figured he could lie low until the Florida primary, but John McCain 's momentum put an end to Giuliani's campaign. If Barack Obama wins today -- as expected -- in Virginia , Maryland and Washington, DC , that will mean eight losses in a row for Hillary Clinton , with Obama leading next week in Hawaii and Wisconsin . Now Hillary Clinton is counting on Ohio and Texas , which don't vote until April. Susan Milligan, who covers presidential politics for the Boston Globe , says that's changed what both candidates are saying and could effect super-delegates.
In a Blow to Clinton, Ted Kennedy Endorses Obama Senator Edward Kennedy is a mainstay of the liberal Democratic establishment, but today he gave his endorsement to the self-styled "outsider," first-term Senator Barack Obama . He was introduced by his niece, Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President John Kennedy, at American University in Washington. Susan Milligan reports from Washington for the Boston Globe .
The Democrats Reclaim Congress Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel helped make history this morning by nominating Nancy Pelosi to be the first woman House Speaker as the Democrats took charge today on Capitol Hill. Pelosi leads a 31-vote Democratic majority, while the new Senate Majority leader, Harry Reid , has just one vote to work with. What's the Democratic agenda, and can the new leaders hold their party together? Will new legislation be met with vetoes from the Republican in the White House? What about the war in Iraq?
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.