Speaker Boehner Loves Green Grass

And he just posted an Instagram video to prove it

Spring hasn’t quite sprung for much of the country yet, but House Speaker John Boehner is ready for the season and the tedious yard work that comes with it. In fact, the Republican from Ohio told Jay Leno during a recent Tonight Show appearance that he actually likes doing his own outdoor chores, proven on Friday when his office posted a short video to his Instagram. “I love green grass,” Boehner says at the end of the clip, which features him revving up his mower and getting to work at his home in West Chester. On the Tonight Show, Boehner mentioned likes golf, mowing the lawn, red wine and cigarettes too much to consider a run for the presidency. Maybe next week he’ll post a picture with a glass of red a la Olivia Pope.

TIME Health Care

Poll: Obamacare Support Hits New Low

One survey says more Americans than ever don't like the health care reform law

Support for the health care reform law is at its lowest point since it was enacted four years ago, according to a new poll.

The Associated Press survey found that only 26 percent of Americans support the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement. Forty-three percent said they are opposed to the law. The poll was conducted online, and online polls are typically not as accurate as telephone polls. But the results nevertheless point to political peril for Democratic congressional candidates in the midterm elections, with Republicans again running against the law across the country.

The results also differ from a recently released Kaiser Family Foundation poll that found support for the Affordable Care Act was at 38 percent, though more Americans had unfavorable views of the law. About 46 percent of Americans surveyed by the Kaiser Family Foundation were opposed to the law in March.

Despite their opposition, the majority of Americans don’t think the law is going anywhere, according to the AP poll. Only 13 percent of those surveyed said they think it will be repealed. About seven in 10, however, believe a bipartisan package of changes to the law will be implemented, though opinions vary on how large or minor the changes will be. Republicans continue to push for wholesale repeal, but the law continues to be implemented, and repeal is an even more distant possibility than it was before. The White House said Thursday that more than six million Americans have signed up for new health insurance through the law’s federal and state insurance exchanges.

Fifty-six percent of those surveyed said there were problems when someone in their household tried to sign up, reflecting the widespread early problems with Healthcare.gov and the other state exchanges, many of which have since been fixed.

The poll of 1,012 American adults was conducted between March 20 and March 24, and has a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.


TIME Military

Commander in Air Force Cheating Scandal: ‘We Let the American People Down’

This undated handout photo provided by the US Air Force shows Col. Robert Stanley II.
This undated handout photo provided by the US Air Force shows Col. Robert Stanley II. US Air Force/AP

Col. Robert Stanley resigned and retired from the Air Force on Thursday when nine commanders were fired for failing in leadership duties while Airmen allegedly cheated on missile tests

The senior officer at the Air Force nuclear missile base where nine officers were fired Thursday amid a cheating scandal said in his resignation letter that he was leaving the military because the “we let the American people down on my watch.”

“This is a wake-up call for everyone who has lost their sense of right and wrong, for those who have become cynical and for those indoctrinated by modern society to acquiesce when faced with bad behavior,” Col. Robert Stanley wrote, according to the Associated Press.

Officers were allegedly sharing answers to tests on “emergency war orders,” which included information on targets and missile launches. The cheating reportedly began in 2011 and continued for two years. The nine officers fired by the Air Force were said to have failed in leadership. Col. Stanley said in the letter that had one “silent Airman” come forward with the details of the scandal, the reputation of the 34th Missile Wing could have been maintained. “But it didn’t happen,” Stanly wrote. “Wrong won out over right … the voice of integrity was silenced … and the good guy lost at the end of the movie.”

Stanley said he hopes his action will stir other Airmen to “stand up for what’s right the next time they are confronted by immorality.”


TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: March 28

The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

Rep. Mike Rogers to retire, Obamacare signups top 6 million, Senate advances long-term unemployment extension, Chris Christie calls out aides, and is the Democrat's Koch approach working?

  • Rep. Mike Rogers to retire [Washington Post]
  • The Obamacare Report Card [Politico]
  • With deadline near, health signups show disparity: “The disparities reveal a stark truth about the Affordable Care Act: With the first open enrollment period set to end Monday, six months after its troubled online exchanges opened for business, the program widely known as Obamacare looks less like a sweeping federal overhaul than a collection of individual ventures playing out unevenly, state to state, in the laboratories of democracy.” [NYT]
  • Obamacare premiums a guessing game—again [National Journal]
  • Air Force applies a band-aid to a sucking chest wound [TIME]
  • “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Thursday night he believes the voters in Iowa, the nation’s first presidential nominating state, love him.” [The Hill]
  • Christie calls aides “inexplicably stupid” in bridge scandal [TIME]
  • The battle for Turkey’s future [The Economist]
  • Poll: Is the Democrat’s focus on the Koch brothers working? [National Journal]
  • U.S. Official: Putin could invade Ukraine ‘at a moment’s notice’ [The Daily Beast]
  • Senate advances long-term unemployment extension [Bloomberg Businessweek]
TIME animals

10 Stray Sochi Pups Arrive in U.S.

Washington Animal Rescue League Intake Director Maureen Sosa visits with a stray dog from Sochi, Russia, inside its 'doggie den' at the league's shelter March 27, 2014 in Washington, DC.
Washington Animal Rescue League Intake Director Maureen Sosa visits with a stray dog from Sochi, Russia, inside its 'doggie den' at the league's shelter March 27, 2014 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images

Animal rescuers say 10 stray dogs rescued from the Winter Olympics host city, amid reports that Russian authorities were killing them before the Games, have arrived in Washington D.C., where the Washington Animal Rescue League is coordinating their adoption

Americans brought home 28 medals from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, but animal rescuers from U.S. couldn’t help bringing home a bundle of four-legged friends, too.

Ten dogs rescued from the streets landed safely in the U.S. on Thursday, Humane Society International said. The dogs landed at Dulles Airport and were brought to Washington D.C., where Washington Animal Rescue League is coordinating their adoption. The dogs are expected to be ready for adoption within weeks. Animal rights activists sprung into action earlier this year after widespread reports that Russian authorities were killing stray dogs before the Winter Olympics got underway.

“We are excited to make the connection for homeless Sochi dogs with loving homes in the United States, with our focus on helping street dogs in Russia and around the world,” Kelly O’Meara of the Humane Society said in a statement. “Our goal is to protect street dogs from cruel and unnecessary killing programs—like the one employed by Sochi officials to ‘clean up’ in advance of the Olympics—by working with governments to create humane and effective dog population management programs.”

“They’re the sweetest, most interactive, very friendly dogs, very adoptable that just happen to be unfortunate enough to be living on the street,” O’Meara told CNN of the dogs up for adoption.

Humane Society International, in partnership with animal rescue organizations in Sochi, led the effort to take in wandering mutts during the Games. American skier and Olympic silver medalist Gus Kenworthy also adopted four dogs during the games, bringing more attention to the doomed fate of many pups on the streets of Sochi. More dogs are expected to arrive from Russia in the coming weeks.

TIME celebrities

L’Wren Scott Leaves Entire $9 Million Estate to Mick Jagger

L'Wren Scott in New York in 2012.
L'Wren Scott in New York in 2012. Evan Sung—The New York Times/Redux

The will of the late fashion designer, whose death on March 17 was ruled a suicide, says all of her belongings valued around $9 million should become the property of longtime partner Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones

The late fashion designer L’Wren Scott left her entire estate to her longtime boyfriend Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones. Her estate is estimated to be valued at $9 million. Scott died in an apparent suicide on March 17.

“I give all my jewelry, clothing, household furniture and furnishings, personal automobiles, and other tangible articles of a personal nature…to Michael Philip Jagger,” Scott’s will reads, according to CNN.

Scott’s New York apartment, worth about $8 million, is her largest asset. Scott’s two siblings Randy Bambrough and Jan Shane are absent from the will, CNN reports. Reports that Scott’s clothing company LS Fashions was $6 million in debt circulated shortly after her death, yet a representative for Scott said those figures are “misleading and inaccurate.”

The 49-year-old designer’s death was a shock to many in the fashion world. The New York Medical Examiner ruled the death a suicide. Scott reportedly died by hanging herself. Jagger recently wrote about Scott’s death on his website. “I am still struggling to understand how my lover and best friend could end her life in this tragic way,” he wrote. “We spent many wonderful years together and had made a great life for ourselves. She had great presence and her talent was much admired, not least by me.”


TIME Morning Must Reads

Morning Must Reads: March 27

The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson—Getty Images

In the News: Obama meets the Pope; Is NATO's military prowess enough to deter Russia?; Insurers getting sick of Obamacare; and this week's TIME

  • Obama meets the Pope: “Pope Francis greeted [President] Obama with a handshake as they approached each other just outside the Papal Library, where they met for nearly an hour.’Wonderful meeting you,’ Mr. Obama said, thanking Pope Francis for receiving him.” [WSJ]
  • A little backstory: The Catholic roots of Obama’s activism [NYT]
  • GOP says The Pope’s no liberal: “Republicans say the ‘liberal media’ has two world powerhouses all wrong: Barack Obama — and the pope.Democrats believe Pope Francis is their guy, arguing he’s softened the Catholic Church stance on gay rights and abortion and taken GOP economic theories to task. When he meets with Obama in Rome on Thursday, they’re hoping it’ll seal the deal.” [Politico]
  • Yes, Obama really is worried about a Manhattan nuke [TIME]
  • Military cuts render NATO less formidable as deterrent to Russia: “The United States, by far the most powerful NATO member, has drastically cut back its European forces from a decade ago. European countries, which have always lagged far behind the United States in military might, have struggled and largely failed to come up with additional military spending at a time of economic anemia and budget cuts.” [NYT]
  • “Even with more than two years left in his term, President Obama’s ability to fill many of his administration’s most important jobs is rapidly diminishing. White House officials are scrambling to reassess their confirmation strategy in the wake of two major setbacks this month: the Senate’s rejection of lawyer Debo P. Adegbile to head the Justice Department’s civil rights division and signs that surgeon general nominee Vivek H. Murthy could go down in defeat as well. On Tuesday, the administration appointed Karl Remón Thompson as acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel — bypassing the Senate confirmation process.” [Washington Post]
  • “Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) called on Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel Wednesday to immediately make known Russian troop movements along the Ukrainian border. The congressman believes such a move would deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from readying his troops for further incursions into Ukrainian territory.” [TIME]
  • Insurers grow sick of Obamacare [The Hill]
  • American income inequality in six charts [New Yorker]
  • Being raped in a bankrupt city [BuzzFeed]

This week’s TIME: What’s prettier in print

Cover: Mad Men’s Conquest of Cool by James Poniewozik

The King and O by Michael Crowley

Sheryl Sandberg and Princeton Mom Want You to Fast Track Your Life by Charlotte Alter



TIME Weight loss

Study: Frequent, Small Meals Will Not Help You Lose Weight

Despite the popular belief that eating smaller portions more often is a good way to lose weight, a new study from the University of Warwick in the UK says that keeping an eye on calories is the most effective way of shrinking your waistline

Don’t believe the hype, dieters. Eating five meals a day won’t make you any skinnier, a new study shows.

Researchers from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom found that despite the popular belief that eating multiple small meals a day will help you lose weight, counting calories is the most effective way to drop pounds. “The size of frequency of the meal doesn’t affect the calories we burn a day,” said the study’s lead researcher Dr. Milan Kumar, according to Medical News Today. “But what matters most for losing weight is counting calories.”

The study, which analyzed 24 women of varying weights, analyzed the number of calories burned by those who ate two meals a day when compared to those who ate five meals, and found no measurable difference in metabolism. Both groups burned the same amount of calories per day. The study also found that eating multiple times a day can increase health risk for the obese. The obese women in the study who ate five meals a day actually increased the likelihood of inflammation linked to diabetes and heart disease.

For decades, scientists have been producing research that disproves the theory that eating several small meals a day increases metabolism and helps you drop weight quicker. As far back as 1993, researchers have found metabolic rate is not effected by the frequency of meals. Despite this information, frequency is often still touted as the best way to shrink your waistline.

[Medical News Today]


TIME Transportation

Chicago Train Operator Admits She Fell Asleep Before Crash

A handout photo shows a derailed commuter train resting on an escalator at O'Hare international airport in Chicago
A derailed commuter train is shown resting on an escalator at O'Hare international airport in Chicago March 24, 2014. NBC Chicago/Reuters

The rail operator steering the commuter train that derailed at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Monday, injuring more than 30 people and causing about $6 million in damages, admits she had fallen asleep at the controls before the 3 a.m. accident

The woman operating the Chicago commuter train that derailed and injured more than 30 people on Monday morning has admitted she fell asleep before the early accident and only woke up on impact, investigators said Wednesday.

“She did admit that she dozed off prior to entering the station,” Ted Turpin, a National Transportation Safety Board’s investigator, said during a briefing Wednesday, the Associated Press reports. “She did not awake until the train hit.”

The woman had only been a Chicago Transit Authority operator for two months before the crash, in which the train went airborne and hit an escalator at O’Hare International Airport, injuring at least 32 people and causing about $6 million worth of damage. Turpin said the operator, who name hasn’t been released, is cooperating with authorities and that Monday’s incident was not the first time she had fallen asleep on the job. She dozed off at the helm in February and caused a train to partially miss its stop, Turpin said.

Turpin added that her recent schedule was erratic and she would often fill in for colleagues. “Human factors” contribute to about 40 percent of train crashes, the Federal Railroad Administration estimated as recently as March 10, and fatigue often plays a role. The NTSB is investigating her training, work schedule and whether she has any prior infractions.


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