Blog Posts by Chris Moody

  • Immigration advocates see Martin Luther King Jr. anniversary as an opportunity

    Thousands are expected to gather for several events in Washington, D.C., over the next week to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, but remembering and honoring the past isn’t the only objective on the agenda.

    Immigrant rights advocates are planning to use the commemoration as an opportunity to rally for changes to immigration law that offer a pathway to citizenship for those living in the country illegally.

    Groups such as The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) plan to have a presence at a Saturday rally at the Lincoln Memorial co-sponsored by the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. They will encourage lawmakers to adopt a comprehensive immigration overhaul.

    “We will be marching so everyone knows that true justice involves enacting comprehensive immigration reform,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía during a

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  • Meet the top 10 richest members of Congress

    The Hill newspaper released its annual report Tuesday on the wealth of members of Congress, revealing the richest lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

    Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, who began building his fortune 30 years ago by founding the company that makes Viper car alarm systems, tops the list this year with an estimated net worth of $355.4 million. Issa's estimated net worth has more than doubled in the past year, according to the The Hill's 2012 list, in which he ranked third.

    Although a Republican tops the new list, Democrats hold seven of the spots in the top 10.

    Using financial disclosure forms for the 2012 calendar year, The Hill calculated each amount by subtracting each lawmaker's liabilities from assets. The congressional disclosure forms, however, only require lawmakers to provide ranges instead of exact numbers, so the amounts listed here are "conservative estimates" based on information provided.

    You can find more information about where the lawmakers made their money by clicking

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  • Chris Christie signs bill banning gay ‘conversion therapy’ for minors

    New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie on Monday signed a bill that bans therapists from providing a service to minors that aims to change their sexual orientation.

    The bill, which passed in the New Jersey Senate and Assembly in June, would restrict licensed therapists from offering what is commonly referred to as “conversion therapy.”

    Christie is only the second governor to sign a law banning the practice for youths. California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed a similar law last year, which is currently under review in the federal courts.

    In signing the bill into law, Christie issued a statement in which he cited the American Psychological Association’s report that recommended against the practice.

    “At the outset of this debate, I expressed my concerns about government limiting parental choice on the care and treatment of their own children. I still have those concerns,” Christie said in a signing statement.

    “Government should tread carefully into this area and I do so here

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  • Scott Brown says he is ‘curious’ about a presidential run

    During a weekend trip to Iowa, the state that traditionally hosts the first-in-the-nation presidential caucus, former Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown said he was “curious” about launching a presidential bid of his own.

    “I want to get an indication of whether there’s even an interest, in Massachusetts and throughout the country, if there’s room for a bipartisan problem solver,” Brown said, according to the Boston Herald, when asked whether he is considering a presidential bid. “It’s 2013, I think it’s premature, but I am curious. There’s a lot of good name recognition in the Dakotas and here — that’s pretty good.”

    Whether his talk of executive ambition is serious or not, Brown’s summer excursion to the Hawkeye State at least serves the purpose of keeping his name in the news — plus he visited the State Fair in Des Moines, a must-stop for presidential candidates of all stripes.

    Crossing the Iowa state border is a classic political maneuver in the run-up to an election cycle that

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  • Harry Reid is the master of the Washington insult

    No one is safe from this "golden-tongued devil."

    “I’m just who I am, O.K.?” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid once told The New York Times.

    The Nevada Democrat had recently come under fire after a book quoted him saying that Barack Obama was elected president in part because he was a "light-skinned" black man and had "no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

    It's no secret that the 73-year-old Reid, the most powerful man in the Senate, has a sharp tongue. Despite his slim stature and soft, whisperlike voice, Reid is a master of the art of the insult. With a few exceptions, Republicans are almost always the target of his ire.

    “I didn’t take lessons on how to speak on television, and I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about who I am," Reid went on to tell the Times. "I don’t like to read stuff about me, but I’ve become accustomed to it: you know, ‘Reid misspeaks.’ I’d rather people were saying, ‘Oh, that guy is a golden-tongued devil.’"

    As a tribute to the Senate's golden-tongued devil, Yahoo News has accumulated some of Reid's

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  • Republicans offer a reality check on effort to defund Obamacare

    A Republican senator elected with broad support from tea party groups in 2010 said it would be “next to impossible” to strip funding from the federal health care law known as Obamacare this year, a statement that throws cold water on efforts by some conservative Republicans to defund the law.

    Before members of Congress departed Washington for an extended recess earlier this month, a  group of Republicans called on conservative activists to urge lawmakers to refuse support for any government-funding bill that includes money for Obamacare. Congress must pass a spending bill, known as a continuing resolution, by Sept. 30 or the government will shut down.

    On Tuesday, Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson said the most recent iteration of the campaign to defund Obamacare, which is being spearheaded by GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida, Mike Lee of Utah and others, would “likely” not be successful this year.

    "Even if we were to not pass the continuing resolution, you're not

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  • How a young, gay congressional candidate could shake up the GOP

    Republican Carl DeMaio is seeking a House seat in California

    SAN DIEGO — It’s January 2015, and a newly elected House member from California walks side by side with his male partner to be sworn into office in Washington. The young lawmaker is a supporter of same-sex marriage. He believes the government should keep abortion legal. He considers himself an environmentalist.

    He's also a Republican.

    This could be the future for one Carl DeMaio, a former San Diego city councilman and recent mayoral candidate who is expected to challenge freshman Democratic Rep. Scott Peters in the state's 52nd congressional district. DeMaio has announced his plan to challenge Peters, but the unfolding sexual harassment scandal surrounding San Diego Mayor Bob Filner could also draw DeMaio into a special election for the mayor's office if Filner is recalled.

    DeMaio, 38, doesn’t fit the mold of a traditional Republican. His election could make him the only openly gay GOP member of Congress. (Just two openly gay Republicans have ever served in the House.) DeMaio's views

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  • These goats were set loose in the Congressional Cemetery

    This is the Congressional Cemetery in southeast Washington, D.C.

    About 200 former members of Congress and their family members are memorialized here.

    Lots of famous people are buried here, too, such as J. Edgar Hoover, the first director of the FBI.

    And Mary Ann Hall, the madam of D.C. who ran a bordello for Civil War soldiers.

    A few months ago, it was discovered that the cemetery had some extra property. But the property is covered with thick poisonous plants that can suffocate the trees. Boo!

    Clearing the land with machinery and pesticides would have cost more than $10,000 and harmed the environment. So the cemetery settled on something better: Goats!

    Goats can eat poisonous plants and can clear an entire acre in only a few days. The cemetery ordered about 60 to eat for a full week.

    A company called Eco-Goats brought the goats from Maryland.

    Signs directed tourists to see the goats at the Congressional Cemetery.

    A giant truck arrived Wednesday with a haul of goats. Yahoo News hopped on for the ride.

    The truck backed into the cemetery, and off the goats went!

    TheRead More »from These goats were set loose in the Congressional Cemetery
  • Rand Paul is tired of talking about former aide with neoconfederate past

    Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul lambasted a radio reporter Tuesday after he was asked repeated questions about his connection to an aide who resigned last month after it was revealed he had a history of neoconfederate sympathies.

    During an interview on National Public Radio’s "On Point," reporter John Harwood asked Paul about Jack Hunter, a former social media director in Paul’s Senate office whose past pro-secessionist views were detailed in a June report in the Washington Free Beacon. Paul initially answered the questions, but he interrupted the reporter when he was asked to respond to an editorial in The Economist that aimed to tie libertarian figures to “racist and nativist movements.”

    "Don't you have anything better — don't you have something better to read than a bunch of crap from people who don't like me? That won't make for much of an interview if I have to sit through ... recitation of people calling me a racist,” Paul said, clearly agitated about the line of questions. “I

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  • Wendy Davis stokes speculation about possible run for Texas governorship

    Wendy Davis, the Democratic Texas state senator who filibustered a state abortion regulation bill in June, confirmed Monday that she is still considering seeking her state's governorship.

    "I can say with certainty I will run for one of two offices: my state Senate seat or governor,” Davis said during a luncheon at the National Press Club in Washington.

    Davis earned national attention earlier this year when her filibuster on the floor of the Texas Senate over a Republican-backed abortion bill forced Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry to hold a special session to pass the legislation. The bill passed a few weeks later.

    Perry, Texas' longest-serving governor, announced in July that he does not intend to pursue a fifth term and will step down in January 2015. Were Davis to run and win the election, she would be the first Democratic governor of Texas in 20 years.

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