Blog Posts by Chris Moody

  • Circuit Court strikes down part of health care law

    J. Scott Applewhite (AP)The Atlanta-based 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that the government mandate in President Obama's health care law that requires all American to buy insurance is unconstitutional. The court upheld the rest of the law.

    Twenty-six states filed a joint lawsuit, arguing that the individual mandate reaches beyond the powers of federal government in the Constitution. The portion struck down by the court would impose fines on citizens above a certain income level who do not purchase health insurance starting in 2014.

    "This economic mandate represents a wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority: the ability to compel Americans to purchase an expensive health insurance product they have elected not to buy, and to make them re-purchase that insurance product every month for their entire lives," the court's majority opinion read.

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  • Conservative women hit by pranksters on

    Bachmann and PalinSeveral high-profile Republican women have become targets of "cybervandalism" on, where Internet pranksters have tagged an assortment of scandalous items--things like sex videos, dildos and pornographic movies--with their names on the online marketplace.

    Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and the former Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell each have items attached to their names in the " tag cloud" that, to say the least, weren't put there by their supporters.

    O'Donnell's page, first reported by The Daily Beast's David Graham, mocks her advocacy against pre-marital sex and masturbation in the 1990s. Instead of displaying O'Donnell's new book, Troublemaker, on the page of items tagged with her name, Amazon features several sex toys, the DVDs for the films The 40-Year-Old Virgin and The Last American Virgin, and fertility pills for men.  And of course, in tribute to her "I'm not a witch" ad, there's a witch costume on sale for about $25.

    Photos after the jump.

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  • Best moments from the GOP debate

    Bachmann and Pawlenty (AP)The Republican presidential debate in Ames, Iowa Thursday night was anything but boring. Unlike past debates this cycle, the candidates weren't afraid to take shots at each other and settle their differences out in the open.

    Videos at the links.

    Pawlenty vs. Bachmann

    The best back-and-forth of the night came from Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota's former governor.

    It started when Fox News host Chris Wallace recapped their history of spats over principles versus results. "Is she unqualified or just beating you in the polls?" Wallace asked, with a smirk on his face that suggested he knew exactly what kind of sparks were about to fly.

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  • Live blogging the Republican debate in Iowa

    It's make-or-break time for several of the Republican nominees tonight. The announced GOP contenders for the White House have spent the week promoting their campaigns in the town of Ames, Iowa, and now they'll take their pitches national.

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  • The Ticket will live-blog the Republican presidential debate tonight at 9 PM EST. In the meantime, here are the stories we took note of today but didn't give the full blog treatment:

    • It's officially official: Rick Perry will announce that he is running for president on Saturday. (Politico)

    • Mitt Romney doesn't like to do walk-and-talk interviews with reporters. (YouTube)

    • President Obama: 'Last thing we need' is for Congress to return to DC (The Hill)

    • Stephen Colbert's Super PAC releases a second Iowa ad for "Rick Parry." (Daily Caller)

    Read More »from LAST TICKET: Perry officially in for White House bid; Colbert runs another fake ad in Iowa
  • The ‘super committee’ is complete

    John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi unveiled her choices for the "super committee" Thursday, filling the final seats of the powerful panel with legislators who are almost sure to insist on revenue increases in the final deal to tamp down the nation's debt crisis.

    Reps. James Clyburn of South Carolina, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Xavier Becerra of California will represent House Democrats in the 12-member bipartisan, bicameral group responsible for crafting a plan for $1.5 trillion in debt reduction over 10 years.

    "We must achieve a 'grand bargain' that reduces the deficit by addressing our entire budget, while strengthening Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security," Pelosi said in a statement.

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  • Romney touted tax increases to convince S&P to raise the state’s bond rating

    Romney (Jay LaPrete/AP)Mitt Romney likes to brag that Massachusetts received an increase in its bond rating under his leadership, but the former governor leaves out a small, but crucial, detail: The state raised tax revenues to do it.

    According to documents first reported by Ben Smith of Politico, Romney's pitch in 2004 to convince Standard & Poor's to raise the state's bond rating included revenue increases of $1 million in 2003 and another $1 million in 2004. The tax increases, which also included $269 million in revenues from "closing loopholes" that were passed before Romney entered office,  boosted the state's revenue intake from $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion during his tenure. As a result of those actions, coupled with spending restrictions, S&P raised the state's credit rating to double-A in 2005.

    The state's efforts to increase its rating through tax increases contrasts with the Republican refusal this year to consider revenue increases of any kind on the federal level during the debt ceiling debate--a strategy that Romney supported. The final deal to raise the debt limit not only slowed the growth of spending, but, at Republican insistence, did not raise a dime of revenue. When S&P downgraded the nation's credit rating last week, Romney called President Obama's efforts a "failure."

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  • McCain won’t apologize for calling tea partiers ‘hobbits’

    A tea partier confronted Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain during a town hall meeting Monday with one simple request: Please apologize for calling us "hobbits."

    Instead, McCain may have just made matters worse. "I am sorry if I was misunderstood," he told the constituent after a testy exchange, which can be seen on video below. "But I am not sorry for what I said. Why should I if it was a fact?""

    At the the height of the debt ceiling battle last month, McCain read a Wall Street Journal editorial aloud on the Senate floor that slammed tea party-backed Republicans and called them "hobbits" for demanding a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution in return for their votes to raise the debt ceiling.

    You can watch the video here:

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  • Huntsman endorsed by Jeb Bush Jr.

    Huntsman (Elise Amendola/AP)Jeb Bush Jr., the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and the nephew of former President George W. Bush, has endorsed Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. He will serve on the campaign as head of Huntsman's youth outreach program.

    "To defeat the President in 2012, we need a candidate who will offer solutions. That man is Jon Huntsman," the younger Bush wrote this morning on Huntsman's campaign Web site. "Today at 11:15 a.m. at Scotty's Landing in Miami, I will join Gov. Huntsman to formally endorse his candidacy, and accept a role as National Chairman of GenH — the campaign's youth and young professionals outreach program."

    Bush, who is 28, chairs the board of directors of SunPAC, a Florida-based political action committee that targets Hispanics.

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  • Should the ‘super committee’ hold its meetings in secret?

    Pelosi (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)Members of the new commission tasked with finding $1.2 trillion to cut from the nation's debt could end up making many of their decisions in the same way the "super committee" was created: completely out of public view.

    The bipartisan, bicameral committee of 12 yet-to-be-determined-lawmakers has until Nov. 23 to hash out the details for a 10-year debt reduction package that Congress must vote on before Christmas. If they don't, a "trigger" will set in that reduces projected government spending by more than $1 trillion across the board.

    When The Ticket reported last week that the "super committee" lacked rules requiring the meetings to be held in public view, we heard from several readers who were furious at the possibility of more Washington backroom dealmaking with public funds. But now there is a bipartisan push to ensure the process is made public.

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