Blog Posts by Chris Moody, Yahoo News

  • There’s gold in them there political spats

    West (Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)High profile political cat fights don't just make for unexpectedly lively C-SPAN coverage. They also raise big bucks.

    Both parties wasted little time in squeezing a few greenbacks out of the very public argument between Florida Republican Rep. Allen West and his home-state Democratic colleague Debbie Wasserman Shultz this week.

    West's team struck first with a note to supporters that showcased the e-mail he sent to Wasserman Shultz that called her "the most vile, unprofessional and despicable member of the U.S. House of Representatives." West, who carbon copied House leaders from both parties on the email, was responding to comments Wasserman Shultz made on the House floor assailing West (though not by name) for his support of the Republican plan to overhaul Medicare.

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  • Perry would be a top-tier candidate flush with cash if he runs

    Photo of Perry (Patrick Semansky/AP)He may not have the national name recognition of Sarah Palin or Mitt Romney, but Texas Gov. Rick Perry would find himself in the top tier  of Republican presidential candidates  if he decides to run, a nationwide poll released Tuesday showed.

    The unannounced Republican governor came in third in the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll with approval from 11 percent of likely GOP primary voters. He trails former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who took 30 percent of those surveyed and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann with 16 percent.

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  • What you need to know about the ‘Gang of Six’

    (AP)Who are they?

    The so-called Gang of Six is a bipartisan group of three Democrats and three Republican senators tasked with drafting a realistic proposal to reduce the nation's debt and rein in the deficit that can pass the Congress and avoid President Obama's veto pen. Here's a breakdown of the gang members.

    Democrats:

    • North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.
    • Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, Senate Majority Whip
    • Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, member of the Senate Budget Committee.

    Republicans:

    • Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss, member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
    • Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, member of the Senate Budget Committee.
    • Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, member of the Senate Finance Committee.

    Their Proposal

    The group has outlined a plan to cut spending by $3.7 trillion over the next decade that includes a major overhaul of the tax code and alterations to the way the federal government pays for Social Security and Medicare. By eliminating loopholes and write-offs in the tax code, the proposal would beef up the Treasury's coffers by more than $1 trillion, gang members say.

    Also, the plan would immediately reduce the marginal income tax rate, abolish the alternative minimum tax, create an entirely new set of tax brackets and slash $80 billion from defense.

    The group unveiled the plan's details for the first time this week.

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  • Ron and Rand Paul split on ‘Cut, Cap, and Balance’ bill

    Ed Reinke (AP)Father and son Ron and Rand Paul agree on most things, but when it comes to the finer points of how to proceed on raising the debt ceiling, they're split.

    Ron Paul, a presidential candidate and House veteran who has never voted to raise the debt ceiling in his two decades in office, was one of only nine Republican House members Tuesday to vote against the "Cut, Cap and Balance" bill that would raise the debt ceiling in return for a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. He said the bill, which was championed by his son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, didn't go far enough to address the nation's spending pattern.

    The elder Paul was the first presidential candidate to sign the "Cut, Cap, and Balance" pledge, but took issue with the amount of spending within the final language of the bill.

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  • LAST TICKET: Hope in the Gang of Six; Bachmann takes national lead in poll

    Here are the stories we took note of today but didn't give the full blog treatment:

    • Hope for a debt deal my rest in the Senate's bipartisan Gang of Six. (Politico)

    • Michele Bachmann takes the lead in another national poll. (Public Policy Polling)

    • Herman Cain says Mitt Romney's Mormonism will keep him from securing the GOP nomination. (Washington Times)

    • President Obama supports bill to repeal Defense of Marriage Act. (National Journal)

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  • DeMint warns that the tea party is losing ‘focus’

    Photo of DeMint (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)The outcome of the battle over the debt ceiling will be an early indicator of whether the tea party remains relevant, South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint said Tuesday, adding that he felt the movement was losing "focus."

    At a luncheon at the conservative Heritage Foundation, the Senate Tea Party Caucus co-founder told a group of activists and bloggers that he was unsure where the tea party is heading. He also questioned the power of the movement since the 2010 mid-term elections.

    "What's up with the Tea Party right now?" asked Heritage President Ed Feulner near the end of the meeting. "We're not hearing much right now."

    "I really don't know," DeMint said. "As I move around, people are telling me they're out there and they're engaged, but since the election they have not had as much of a focus."

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  • Poll: Majority of Republicans and tea partiers not worried about debt ceiling deadline

    Source: Pew Research Center for the People and the PressMore than half of self-identifying Republicans do not think the economy will to suffer if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling by Aug. 2, a new national poll has found.

    Fifty-three percent of Republicans say that a failure to raise the debt ceiling by the deadline set by the Treasury Department will not be "a major problem," according to a nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. The number jumps to 65 percent for those who identify with the tea party movement.

    The public at large, however, is evenly split.

    This lackluster state of public worry comes in spite numerous warnings from the Treasury Department that the nation could default on its debts to bondholders and threats from international credit rating agencies to lower the country's credit status.

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  • Republicans hope to recruit more women and Hispanics to run for office

    Photo of Ed Gillespie (Chris Usher/AP)The Republican State Leadership Committee launched a nationwide effort this week to recruit Hispanic and female candidates to run as Republicans, a push that GOP strategists say is vital to remaining relevant as voter demographics shift in coming election cycles.

    The Future Majorities Project, led by Republican strategist and former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie, is setting a goal to recruit at least 100 Hispanic candidates for office on the state and federal level. The group is also partnering with the College Republican National Committee to beef up the party's ranks among young people and plan to spend at least $3 million on the initiative.

    "The 2010 Census confirmed what many of us already knew, which is that the demographics of America are changing," Gillespie said. "And any political party that fails to recognize that is going to find themselves consigned to minority status in the not-too-distance future."

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  • Gay conservative group reaches out to Bachmann

    Photo of Bachmann (Andy Dunaway/AP)As gay-issue advocacy groups increase pressure on Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann over her views about homosexuality, the gay conservative group GOProud is requesting a meeting with the Republican presidential candidate to possibly lend a hand.

    GOProud Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia said that representatives with the organization have already met with some of the GOP candidates to discuss GOProud's legislative agenda--including a commitment to defeat a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, which Bachmann supports--and they hope Bachmann will grant them some face time.

    "We have requested a meeting with Michele Bachmann," LaSalvia told The Ticket. "We've made this request, as with the other requests, in good faith." He said GOProud officials intend to "discuss issues important to gay conservatives" with Bachmann and "anything she wishes to talk about."

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  • LAST TICKET: Gingrich spending big money on private planes; G.W. Bush gets his own baseball card

    Here are the stories we took note of today but didn't give the full blog treatment:

    • Nearly half of Newt Gingrich's campaign debt is from private planes. (Matt Lewis)

    • Former President George W. Bush gets his own baseball card. (CBS News)

    • House to vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment next Wednesday. (The Hill)

    • Michele Bachmann raised more than $4 million in second quarter. (Politico)

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