Blog Posts by Chris Moody

  • Reid (AP)

    To avoid a vote on President Obama's jobs bill Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid invoked a procedural motion that could change the way the Senate operates for years to come. It may not sound sexy, but the gist of last night's high-parliamentary drama was this: The majority party in the Senate now may have a new power to cut off motions to suspend the rules.

    For several days, Senate Republican leaders have pushed for a vote on the American Jobs Act. Their thinking in forcing a vote is simple, and quite political: They know Democrats have not yet whipped together enough votes for it to pass, so the exercise is more about embarrassing the Democratic majority than anything else.

    To do this, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) moved to add two Republican amendments to a bipartisan bill intended to punish China for undervaluing its currency. One amendment was a version of the president's jobs plan. And in order to push the amendment through, McConnell intended to file a motion to suspend the rules, which would require 67 votes and surely fail, giving Republicans the ability to say that Obama's jobs bill had failed. The Senate parliamentarian ruled that McConnell's motion was in order, and that the body could proceed with a vote on the amendments.

    So far, so simple--at least by the standards by which the Senate does business. But Reid, who plans to put a version of the jobs bill to a vote in the coming weeks, blocked the Republican effort by resorting to what has long-been called the "nuclear option": He got a procedural ruling from the parliamentarian that changes the minority's ability to introduce amendments when a filibuster is defeated. Reid called for a motion to simply overrule the parliamentarian's call permitting the McConnell amendment to go forward and he succeeded. Under the Reid rule change, a simple majority of 51 votes can effectively block the amended version of the AJA bill that McConnell was trying to marshal through the chamber.

    That's a big, and potentially game-changing, shift in Senate procedure. Normally, the Senate can agree to waive the rules with a two-thirds vote once the majority overcomes a filibuster and members have 30 hours to introduce and debate the amendments. This is part of what sets the Senate apart from the House as the federal government's most deliberative body.

    In one move, Reid abandoned years of precedent in the Senate and essentially cut off one of the minority party's most powerful weapons. It's a high-risk tactic, though, since Reid may have set the chamber on a course that could undermine his own party if Republicans one day become the majority in the Senate. A future Republican majority leader could easily point to Reid's gambit and deny Democrats the same ability to introduce their own amendments.

    Read More »from Reid uses the ‘nuclear option’ in the Senate, setting stage for more partisan confrontation
  • Biden: Wall Street protesters have a lot in common with the tea party

    Vice President Joe Biden likened the protesters who have camped out on Wall Street in New York City to the tea party movement Thursday, citing anger over the federal program that spent hundreds of millions of dollars to bail out private banks in 2008.

    "There's a lot in common with the tea party," Biden said at forum in Washington, D.C., when asked about the "Occupy Wall Street" movement. "The tea party started why? TARP. They thought it was unfair -- we were bailing out the big guy."

    Agreement between both groups--the tea party and those organizing the Wall Street protests--probably doesn't go much further than that.

    Read More »from Biden: Wall Street protesters have a lot in common with the tea party
  • Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman who faced pressure to run for president, explained Thursday why he he decided not jump in the race this year.

    "I just like myself too much, I think," Ryan, a Republican congressman from Wisconsin, said at the Washington Ideas Festival in the nation's capital. "When other people want you to run a lot more badly than you yourself do, don't run. You have to want this so badly to go out and run for it."

    "I love being a policy maker. I don't have this burning desire," he continued. "I'm 41, our kids are 6,8, and 9. We like our life. I just didn't have it in the gut."

    Read More »from Paul Ryan on why he didn’t run for president: ‘I just didn’t have it in the gut.’
  • WorldNetDaily removes ‘exclusive’ label from Cain’s syndicated column

    The Ticket erroneously reported Wednesday that Herman Cain, the Republican presidential candidate and Georgia businessman, had written 113 columns exclusively for WorldNetDaily, a website that publishes articles that promote the notion that President Obama was not born in the United States.

    Cain actually writes a syndicated column for the North Star Writers Group that WorldNetDaily pays to publish. WorldNetDaily has branded the column as "exclusive commentary" for two years.

    After receiving a email from a representative of the North Star Writers Group on Thursday morning, we learned of our mistake, changed the story and added a correction. In interviews with Cain's campaign staff and WorldNetDaily's editor during the reporting process, neither party mentioned that Cain's columns on the site were syndicated. We regret the error.

    Shortly after we corrected the story and reported that WorldNetDaily had advertised Cain's columns as its own, the site removed the "exclusive" branding on Cain's column.

    Read More »from WorldNetDaily removes ‘exclusive’ label from Cain’s syndicated column
  • Marco Rubio’s just not that into you

    Rubio (AP)Sen. Marco Rubio may be the most discussed Republican VP pick for 2012, but the freshman from Florida is still playing hard to get.

    Rubio has said repeatedly he's not interested in being the vice president, but he solidified his opposition to the notion at a Capitol Hill event Wednesday.

    "I'm not going to be the vice presidential nominee," Rubio said at the Washington Ideas Forum when asked if he would consider it. "The answer is going to be no."

    But that hasn't kept GOP presidential hopefuls from working hard to remain in Rubio's good graces.

    Read More »from Marco Rubio’s just not that into you
  • Sarah Palin not running for president

    Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin announced Wednesday that she will not run for president.

    She made the announcement in a letter to supporters that was first reported by ABC News:

    After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for President of the United States. As always, my family comes first and obviously Todd and I put great consideration into family life before making this decision. When we serve, we devote ourselves to God, family and country. My decision maintains this order.

    My decision is based upon a review of what common sense Conservatives and Independents have accomplished, especially over the last year. I believe that at this time I can be more effective in a decisive role to help elect other true public servants to office — from the nation's governors to Congressional seats and the Presidency. We need to continue to actively and aggressively help those who will stop the "fundamental transformation" of our nation and instead seek the restoration of our greatness, our goodness and our constitutional republic based on the rule of law.

    Read More »from Sarah Palin not running for president
  • Leading ‘birther’ website brands Cain’s syndicated column as its own

    Herman Cain (AP)

    This article has been updated.
    For the past two years, Herman Cain has written a weekly column that is advertised as "exclusive commentary" for WorldNetDaily, a website that is the online hub for people who believe that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States.*

    Not one of Cain's 113 columns broaches the topic of Obama's birth, which are syndicated through North Star Writer's Group. He has used the column to build support for his presidential candidacy, outline his policy ideas on health care and economics and clarify his positions on the campaign trail.

    Cain, a Georgia businessman who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, has catapulted in recent polls into the field's top tier, following his victory last month at the Florida straw poll. The birther movement's flagship publication's decision to brand his column space as its own could hinder his attempt to shift from a tea party star into a leading Republican presidential candidate.

    WorldNetDaily regularly publishes articles by Jerome Corsi, the author of the book Where's the Birth Certificate?: The Case That Barack Obama Is Not Eligible to Be President. Corsi alleges that Obama's birth certificate, released by the state of Hawaii, is a forgery.

    The site has run scores of columns making the case that Obama's presidency is illegal. Joseph Farah, the site's editor-in-chief, advised Donald Trump during Trump's campaign to get the White House to make public the president's "long form" birth certificate.

    Since August 2009, WorldNetDaily has published a commentary from Cain every week. His most recent column was published on Sunday, Oct. 2.

    Read More »from Leading ‘birther’ website brands Cain’s syndicated column as its own
  • Mike Huckabee wants to put a ‘F*&%@ end to famine’

    Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee joins the ONE campaign for a clever ad about world hunger, where he drops his own version of "the F bomb."

    "Let's put a F&*@% end to famine," he says.

    Skip ahead to 0:49 for Huckabee's spot:

    (via Politico's Ben Smith)

  • Reid blocks vote on jobs bill while Obama blasts House for not voting on it

    Talk about poor timing.

    Moments after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, blocked a Republican motion in the Senate to vote on President Obama's jobs bill, the president's re-election campaign sent out an e-mail blasting House Republicans for not voting on the proposal.

    Friend --

    President Obama is in Dallas today urging Americans who support the American Jobs Act to demand that Congress pass it already.

    Though it's been nearly a month since he laid out this plan, House Republicans haven't acted to pass it. And House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is out there actually bragging that they won't even put the jobs package up for a vote -- ever.

    It's not clear which part of the bill they now object to: building roads, hiring teachers, getting veterans back to work. They're willing to block the American Jobs Act -- and they think you won't do anything about it.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, tried to force a vote on the president's plan

    Read More »from Reid blocks vote on jobs bill while Obama blasts House for not voting on it
  • Norquist calls attacks from GOP congressman ‘disgusting’

    Conservative acNorquist (AP)tivist Grover Norquist responded to attacks from Virginia Republican Rep. Frank Wolf Tuesday, calling Wolf's accusations that Norquist was connected to terrorists "disgusting" and saying they were copied from "racist websites."

    Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, a group that has convinced all but six House Republicans to pledge never to raise taxes, has been sparring with with Wolf for some time. Norquist has refused to support a commission that would consider tax increases as a way to decrease the federal deficit--while Wolf has long supported a deficit-reduction plan that would combine spending reductions with tax hikes, a proposal Norquist has fought for decades.

    On the House floor Tuesday, Wolf accused Norquist of being associated with terrorist financiers, discussed his connection in 2006 to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and said that Norquist has used his organization's pledge "to advance many other issues that many Americans would find inappropriate, and when taken as a whole should give people pause."

    "Some staffer of his went onto the racist websites, you know, dug up stuff from ten years ago," Norquist said in response to Wolf's floor speech. "I'm married to a woman who's Muslim, and it's sad and it's disgusting. It reflects poorly on him. I think given his district, he's going to spend a lot of time apologizing for getting into the gutter and anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bigotry. I suppose this staffer who got this stuff off websites did as much chucking as the idiots who put it forward."

    Wolf submitted a detailed report to the official record that outlined his grievances with Norquist.

    "Documentation shows that he has deep ties to supporters of Hamas and other terrorist organizations that are sworn enemies of the United States and our ally Israel," Wolf's submitted statement read.

    Read More »from Norquist calls attacks from GOP congressman ‘disgusting’

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