Blog Posts by Chris Moody, Yahoo News

  • Rubio’s pitch to conservatives on immigration reform: If you don’t act, Obama will

    Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. (AP file photo)Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. (AP file photo)

    In preparation for a new round of Senate hearings on bipartisan legislation to overhaul the nation's immigration system, bill co-author Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is urging skeptical conservatives who oppose it to instead work to toughen measures such as border security.

    Rubio, a Republican with one of the most conservative voting records in the chamber—and who rose to power with support from the tea party—has faced intense scrutiny from some conservative groups for his willingness to work with Democrats on writing the bill. On Friday, Rubio published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that called on them to work with him to rework the language in the bill. If they don't work with him on the legislation, Rubio warned, they will leave immigration reform to liberal Democrats, who he argued would legalize unlawful immigrants without balancing their approach with tougher border security.

    "Conservatism has always been about reforming government and solving problems, and that's why the

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  • Throw back a Jägerbomb with Mitch McConnell

    Man poses for picture on Mitch McConnell's #ObamaDrink Tumblr page

    Shots all around, and Mitch McConnell's buying.

    The re-election campaign for the top Republican in the Senate launched a contest Thursday, and the winner gets to kick back some booze with the lawmaker. The contest is part of the launch of a new McConnell campaign Tumblr page that invites supporters to submit pictures of themselves "Eastwooding" at a bar. ("Eastwooding" was an online trend last year that started after Clint Eastwood pretended to carry on a conversation with President Barack Obama while speaking to an empty chair at the Republican National Convention.)

    "Everyone that submits an ObamaDrink photo will be automatically entered to win a drink of your choice with Mitch!" the McConnell campaign's Facebook page read Thursday with a link to the Tumbler page.

    McConnell posted his own photo at a Kentucky bar earlier this week, in response to a joke Obama made about not wanting to have a drink with him.

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  • Senate bound? Steve King hired Ted Cruz fundraiser

    Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

    Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King, currently mulling whether to launch a bid for the Senate, hired a political consultant who raised money for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and several other conservative candidates, a decision that could offer a clue about his future plans.

    The Des Moines Register reported last month that King recently hired DeLullo & Associates, a political fundraising firm based in Alexandria, Va., which has had its fingerprints on a string of victories for tea party candidates in the past few years. The boutique firm's founder, Erin DeLullo, was a chief fundraiser during Cruz's successful runoff campaign last year, and for Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Graves in 2010. She also raised PAC money for Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp's campaign the same year, and served as the national fundraiser for Ken Cuccinelli's attorney general campaign in 2009.

    King has not said if he'll run for the seat, which has been held by retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin since 1985. King says he will decide

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  • Ex-lawmakers search for signs of intelligent life in Washington

    (ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images)

    All the pieces of a formal congressional hearing were in place. A row of lawmakers with furrowed brows were seated in wide, leather chairs behind an elevated table with microphones. Water pitchers and engraved nameplates were in front of them. A second, smaller table was set up below for witnesses to deliver their expert testimonies. Chairs lined the back for spectators and reporters.

    The topic of Tuesday's discussion: government suppression of alien visitors from outer space.

    Despite the setup, this was not an actual hearing. It was day two of a week-long event called the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure that will be part of a documentary called "Truth Embargo." Held at the National Press Club in Washington, the hearing will include testimony from some 40 panelists.

    To conduct the proceedings, six former members of Congress are being paid $20,000 each to act like they're in Congress again, and ask questions about the government's alleged role in shielding the existence of alien visits

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  • And they’re off: Election ads go live in Virginia, New Jersey

    Three gubernatorial campaigns released television ads this week in preparation for the November 2013 elections, signs of a grueling state election season ahead.

    Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe, Virginia Republican Ken Cuccinelli and New Jersey Republican Chris Christie all unveiled TV spots Wednesday in an effort to define their candidacies in the early days of their races. All three ads are positive, an attribute likely to become more rare as we inch closer to Election Day.

    McAuliffe:

    Cuccinelli:

    Christie:

  • Rand Paul endorses Mark Sanford in a statement

    Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul formally endorsed South Carolina Republican House candidate Mark Sanford Tuesday. Sanford is running against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch to represent the state's first congressional district.

    "More than anything, Washington needs strong and consistent voices for fiscal responsibility and liberty," Paul said in a statement released to reporters by the Sanford campaign. "Mark has proven during his time in office that watching out for taxpayers and holding the line on spending are his top priorities. What we absolutely cannot afford is someone like his opponent, who will be yet another vote for a return to the Pelosi speakership, for disastrous programs like Obamacare, and for more spending and debt. I am pleased to endorse Mark and stand with him in this race."

    Paul, who is mulling a presidential run in 2016 and plans to visit South Carolina this summer, is one of the few national Republicans to engage in the race. Earlier this month, the National

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  • Rand Paul to endorse Mark Sanford

    Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images)

    Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul plans to endorse Republican nominee Mark Sanford ahead of a special election to fill the first district House seat in South Carolina, Yahoo News has confirmed.

    Paul's decision to endorse Sanford comes after national Republicans all but abandoned the former South Carolina governor after his ex-wife accused him of trespassing on her property following a nasty divorce. The National Republican Congressional Committee, an official party group tasked with electing Republicans to the House, announced earlier this month it would stop devoting new resources to Sanford's campaign.

    Sanford and Democrat Elizabeth Colbert-Busch will face of in a special election scheduled for Tuesday, May 7.

    According to a source close to the Sanford campaign, Paul will make the endorsement sometime this week. The news was first reported by Peter Hamby of CNN.

    Paul, the son of former Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul and a respected figure among libertarian and tea party

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  • McConnell pulls an ‘Eastwood’ at a Kentucky bar

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is ready to take President Barack Obama up on that drink. Unfortunately, he's nowhere near the president.

    The Kentucky Republican posted a picture of himself Monday at a Kentucky bar, nestling a glass of beer next to an empty chair and a glass of wine, both presumably meant for Obama.

    Congress is currently in recess, so McConnell is working in Kentucky instead of in the capital.

    The picture was posted in response to Obama's speech at the White House correspondents' dinner on Saturday, in which he joked about having a drink with McConnell.

    "Recently, I had dinner—it’s been well publicized—I had dinner with a number of the Republican senators. And I’ll admit it wasn’t easy. I proposed a toast—it died in committee," Obama said during the speech. "Of course, even after I've done all this, some folks still don’t

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  • Democratic lawmaker warns of ‘a world without balloons’

    There's a helium shortage in the United States, and Georgia Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson is almost as worried as he was when he thought Guam might tip into the ocean if the U.S. expanded its military presence on the island.

    During a speech on the House floor Thursday, Johnson urged his fellow lawmakers to act quickly on a bill that would allow the Federal Helium Reserve in Texas, which supplies more than 30 percent of the world's helium, to remain open, despite a 1996 law mandating that it be shut down this year. The House voted 394-1 to stop the reserve's closure on Friday.

    “Imagine, Mr. Speaker, a world without balloons,” Johnson said. “How can we make sure that the injustice of there being no helium for comedians to get that high-pitched voice that we all hold near and dear to our hearts.”

    He went on, deadpanning: "Today, the House has chosen to just simply float above it all. And finally we're going to do something for the American people, and we should all pat ourselves on the

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  • Lawmakers fix flight delays caused by sequestration—before going to the airport

    (Boston Globe/Getty Images)

    We learned this week, yet again, that if you make enough noise (and have the ear of members of Congress and a well-funded lobby shop in the nation's capital) you can be spared the pain caused by government belt-tightening.

    As part of sequestration, which has forced the federal government to slow the growth of spending by just over 2 percent through the current fiscal year, the Federal Aviation Administration furloughed 1,500 air traffic controllers. The FAA's attempt to comply with the budget mandate has caused hundreds of costly and frustrating delays to flights across the country, prompting a swift vocal backlash against sequestration.

    Airline employees, a group constantly taking blame for delays, took pains to let people know that, this time, it wasn't their fault. "I don't want to get political," one pilot announced to a plane full of passengers, including NBC News' Luke Russert, who documented the announcement. "But we're being delayed an hour and 15 minutes due to sequester."

    Never

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