Blog Posts by Chris Moody, Yahoo News

  • Supporters of same-sex marriage rally outside Supreme Court

    For many who had waited hours outside the Supreme Court on Wednesday to hear the outcome of two cases on the future of same-sex marriage, the first news arrived from a man who sprinted from the court building and stripped off his shirt to reveal a pink tank top.

    The sight of the colorful undershirt was a signal: The highest court in the land had struck down key parts of the Defense of Marriage Act.

    Those closest to the steps of the court who knew what the the pink shirt meant cheered and spread the word. Squinting in the sun, demonstrators farther away craned sweaty necks to see what was going on, while others pecked at smartphones for answers.

    In all, thousands had gathered along the sidewalk in front of the steps of the courthouse, where they stood for hours beneath a blazing June sun in Washington, D.C., to hear how the justices would rule on DOMA and on the constitutionality of a state ban on same-sex marriage in

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  • Putin would never get away with stealing a Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl ring: Sen. Cruz

    Russian President Vladimir Putin (Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin should be glad he didn't mess with Texas, according to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

    Last week, Putin denied an accusation that he had stolen a Super Bowl ring from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. On Tuesday, Cruz said a heist like that wouldn't have gone over so well had it happened to his beloved Dallas Cowboys.

    During an interview on the Andrea Tantaros radio show, Cruz said he would "absolutely" have gotten a stolen Cowboys ring back from Putin by now—with a little help from some fellow Texans in high places.

    "I have a feeling that if Vladimir Putin had stolen a Dallas Cowboys ring instead of a Patriots ring, you and Sen. [John] Cornyn, [Texas Gov.] Rick Perry and [Cowboys owner] Jerry Jones would've gotten that ring back by now," Tantaros told Cruz.

    "That's absolutely right," Cruz replied.

    The last time the Cowboys won a Super Bowl was 1995.

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  • Chamber of Commerce launches ‘seven-figure’ ad buy in support of immigration effort

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching a "seven-figure" ad buy on Monday in support of the effort to overhaul the nation's immigration laws, a chamber spokeswoman confirmed.

    The 30-second message, which will air on radio and cable news stations nationwide, features clips from Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky calling for the need for reform. (While Rubio is one of the co-authors of the immigration bill making its way through the Senate, Paul has said he plans to vote against the measure and may even support a filibuster effort.) The ad calls for an end to "de-facto amnesty," referring to the nearly 12 million people living in the United States illegally under the current system.

    The chamber's ad buy, first reported by Maggie Haberman of Politico, is part of a larger yearlong effort in support of the bill. But this new major investment in pro-reform messaging comes at a crucial time: The Senate on Monday is planning to take a procedural vote on an

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  • ‘Border surge’ amendment clears hurdle in the Senate

    Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker (l) and North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven (r). (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

    After just a few hours of floor speeches Monday afternoon, the Senate voted 67-27 to proceed on an amendment to the immigration bill that would increase border security funding, taking another step toward the legislation's final passage.

    Fifteen Republicans joined Democrats in support of a motion, which required 60 votes to proceed.

    As part of an agreement between Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Democratic Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota, the amendment is intended to ease concerns of skeptical lawmakers who are calling for tougher border enforcement as part of the bill.

    The Corker-Hoeven amendment retains much of the language of the original bill proposed by a bipartisan group of eight senators earlier this year, but adds 119 new pages that would strengthen security measures by nearly doubling the amount of security agents along the nation's borders. The bill would also mandate the construction of a fence stretching "no less than" 700 miles along the U.S. border with

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  • Rubio weighs in on Kim Kardashian-Kanye West baby name

    Kanye West and Kim Kardashian (Getty Images)

    You probably didn't wake up this morning wondering what Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio thought about Kim Kardashian and Kanye West naming their new baby "North." (Congratulations! You're normal, unlike us.) Thankfully, talk radio host Andrea Tantaros asked Rubio about the celebrity couple's newborn on her show Friday.

    "You're probably only going to get this question from me today," Tantaros told Rubio during an interview. "Kanye West named his baby with Kim Kardashian 'North West.' Do you think that's a slight to Florida? Should they have named him 'South East?'"

    "Oh gosh, I guess we could just wait for another baby," Rubio said. "That's going to be an interesting birth certificate."

    Tantaros also congratulated Rubio on the Miami Heat's victory in the NBA Championship on Thursday night and asked if he partied hard with LeBron James the night before.

    "Oh no," Rubio said. "Those days are long gone."

    As our dedicated readers will recall, Rubio was once a regular on the Miami

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  • Rand Paul threatens to support filibustering immigration bill

    Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    Sen. Rand Paul plans to support a filibuster of the Senate immigration bill unless it grants Congress more border security oversight, the Kentucky Republican said on Thursday.

    Paul does not plan to stand on the Senate floor for 13 hours straight like he did in March to protest President Barack Obama's drone policy, but he will withhold support for a motion to end debate on the bill, a procedural tactic that effectively could block the bill from seeing a final vote.

    "Unless they change the bill, I will vote on the side of not ending the debate, which is essentially like a filibuster, but it's not the filibuster people think of," Paul said during an interview on the "Andrea Tantaros Show."

    On Wednesday, the Senate rejected an amendment to the immigration bill proposed by Paul that would require the Congress to vote on whether members deem the U.S. borders "secure" every year for five years and mandate the construction of a fence along the border with Mexico. All eight members of the

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  • Off probation, filmmaker James O’Keefe gives his side of story in tell-all book

    There's a good chance you've heard about James O'Keefe. Odds are even better you have one of two extreme reactions when you hear his name: Adoration or contempt.

    O'Keefe, the young filmmaker known for secret-camera video stings that cause migraines in the highest echelons of government, is entering a new era of his life. Last month, federal probation officers released O'Keefe from a sentence that kept him largely confined to the state of New Jersey for three years, the result of a botched investigation into Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu in 2010.

    "I have endured 1,210 days of unjust government surveillance and oppression," O'Keefe recently wrote on his website, "but today I am a free man."

    For a man unable to leave his home state without the express permission of the federal government, O'Keefe has been incredibly productive. In 2010 he launched a nonprofit group, Project Veritas, which has coordinated several stings across the country. A new book about his experiences,

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  • Murkowski becomes third GOP senator to support same-sex marriage

    Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski said on Wednesday that she now supports allowing same-sex couples to legally marry, becoming the third U.S. senator in her party to change positions on the issue.

    "Countless Alaskans and Americans want to give themselves to one another and create a home together. I support marriage equality and support the government getting out of the way to let that happen," Murkowski said in a statement on Wednesday after announcing her new position during a radio interview with NBC's affiliate station in Alaska.

    In her statement, Murkowski acknowledged her prior support for a constitutional amendment in 1998 that defined marriage between a man and a woman, but, borrowing an expression from President Barack Obama, she said her "thinking has evolved as America has witnessed a clear culture shift."

    Murkowski added that although she's officially switching her position, she still would not support legislation that would force private religious organizations to

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  • House GOP to host meetups with Hispanic voters in D.C. as part of outreach effort

    House GOP Conference chair Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

    In the midst of negotiations in Congress over an immigration overhaul, House Republicans are planning a series of meetings with Hispanic-Americans in the nation's capital as part of a partywide effort to woo minority voters.

    The House Republican Conference, chaired by Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, is planning four meetup sessions between Hispanic-Americans and Republican lawmakers at the Capitol Building this summer.

    “It’s important that we’re having this two-way conversation and hearing the ideas and concerns from a broad base of people from around the country," McMorris Rodgers told Yahoo News in an interview. “More than anything we want them to know that we want to have this relationship with them. ... It’s our effort to build relationships with people all around the country to talk to them about issues that impact their daily lives.”

    The conference plans to host the first meeting on Wednesday with Hispanic faith leaders; two meetings on July 18, one with women and the

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  • GOP gets social in Mass. Senate race with campaign Facebook app

    The National Republican Senatorial Committee plans to use the special Senate election in Massachusetts later this month as a testing ground for a new Get-Out-The-Vote app on Facebook that will make it easier for supporters to target friends who live in the state and encourage them to go to the polls.

    The race pits Republican candidate Gabriel Gomez against Democratic Rep. Ed Markey on June 25 to fill the seat vacated by Democrat John Kerry, who left the Senate earlier this year to become secretary of state.

    Here's how it works: Facebook users who connect with the app will see a screen showing an auto-generated list of their friends from Massachusetts, with text that asks these friends to support Gomez in the special election. They will also be able to send personal messages.

    Users will then be given the choice to share this image and Web page on their friends' walls or through private messages.

    One of the biggest challenges for parties in special elections is to remind—and

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