Blog Posts by Chris Moody

  • Rand Paul swims in the Dead Sea: Photo of the Day

    Rand Paul swims in the Dead Sea. (Grace Wyler/Business Insider)

    Business Insider's Grace Wyler traveled with Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul on his trip through Israel last week, and she snapped some pictures during his swim in the Dead Sea on Friday.

    The mud on his body is from the banks of the sea, which are filled with minerals.

    Read more of Wyler's reporting from Israel here.

  • With Rockefeller retirement pending, W.Va. GOP prepares for campaign season

    West Virginia Republicans are wasting little time. The day West Virginia Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller announced plans to retire at the end of his term, the state's GOP launched its 2014 campaign efforts.

    The state Republican Party sent out this release on Friday morning:

    Today is the next step in West Virginia's conservative future. This 2014 campaign for U.S. Senate here will mean a clear choice for voters. Will folks support a Republican who will fight for our coal jobs and protect us from Washington, D.C.? Absolutely.

    The Republican Difference will be clear. Our pro-energy, pro-family candidate will be a stark contrast to the liberals that the West Virginia Democrat Party will offer.

    The future of this state is truly what's at stake. It's too valuable to trust to anyone who has spent the last four years helping Barack Obama destroy our jobs and crater this nation's economy. It's truly a time for choosing.

    Democrats have held the seat since 1958, and Republicans view Rockefeller's

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  • Georgia GOP Rep. Phil Gingrey favors gun control, discusses Akin’s rape remarks

    Georgia Republican Rep. Phil GIngrey (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    Speaking at a local Chamber of Commerce breakfast on Thursday morning in his home state, Georgia Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey addressed some heavy issues, including the need for gun control in the wake of deadly shootings throughout the country, and former Missouri Rep. Todd Akin's controversial comments on the campaign trail last year about rape, saying Akin was "partly right."

    As reported in the Marietta Daily Journal, Gingrey, a member of the conservative Republican Study Committee, said he would be open to some measures restricting high-capacity magazines and enforcing more rigorous requirements for background checks at gun shows.

    “There are some problems, and maybe these huge magazines even for someone who says, ‘Look, I just use an AR-15 for target practice.' But do you really need to be standing there shooting at a silhouette a shot a second or even quicker with that kind of weapon? For what purpose?” Gingrey said, according to the Journal. “I would be willing to listen to the

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  • West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller to retire after term ends

    West Virginia Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller will not seek a sixth term in the Senate, he told Politico in an interview. He will serve through 2014 after more than 25 years in the chamber,

    "I’m going to serve out my term,” the 75-year-old Rockefeller said. “It was a very hard decision for me. Once it’s made, like any hard decision, it eases up. But it was a very tough decision for me.”

    Rockefeller joined the Senate in 1985 after two terms as governor of West Virginia. He will make a formal announcement on Friday morning.
    The senator's retirement could lead to a fierce race in 2014. Democrats have had a lock on the seat since the Dwight Eisenhower administration, and an election without an incumbent could give Republicans a major opportunity in a deeply red state.
  • Paul Ryan has ‘decided not to decide’ if he will run for president

    The next presidential election is years away, but reporters are already nipping at lawmakers' heels for a glimpse of their future ambitions. When former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan was asked this week if he plans to run for the White House in 2016, he said, "I've decided not to decide."

    From the Wisconsin State Journal:

    U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan hasn't ruled out running for president in 2016.

    "I've decided not to decide," Ryan told the State Journal on Wednesday when asked about a possible presidential run.

    For now, Ryan said he and his family are enjoying settling back down in his hometown, Janesville, after traveling around the country last year while he was the Republican vice presidential hopeful and running mate to Mitt Romney.

    And Ryan, who has returned to his post as House Budget Committee chairman, said he is currently focused on addressing fiscal issues facing the country and trying to "avoid a debt crisis."

    Before he was chosen to be Romney's running mate in 2012, Ryan

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  • White House petition: ‘Save the Lewpty-Lew!’

    The good people of America are petitioning the White House to let Jack Lew, President Barack Obama's nominee for Treasury secretary, use his incoherent, loopy signature on the nation's currency if he is confirmed.

    From the official White House Petition site:

    Save the Lewpty-Lew!

    When Tim Geithner became Treasury Secretary, he changed his loopy signature to be more legible on the dollar bill. Don't let Jack Lew make the same mistake! We demand Lew's doodle on every dollar in circulation.

    The petition needs 25,000 signatures by Feb. 8 to receive an official White House response.

    The Jack Lew dollar: What could be. Image courtesy of New York Magazine.

    To find out what your signature would look like if Jack Lew signed it, click here.

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  • Math is on Hagel’s side in confirmation fight

    President Barack Obama and former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

    President Barack Obama's decision to name former Sen. Chuck Hagel to lead the Defense Department may have sparked a fury of noisy opposition and concern from both parties, but pending a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Nebraska Republican will likely make the cut.

    Simply put, the math is on Hagel's side.

    Democrats hold a 14-12 majority in the Armed Services Committee, which will conduct the confirmation hearings. Once he passes that threshold, he will need at least 60 votes of approval from his former colleagues in the Senate. Democrats control 55 seats in the chamber, meaning Obama must pick off only five Republicans to secure Hagel's appointment.

    "That just doesn't seem like a tall order," a senior Senate Republican aide told Yahoo News.

    Hagel will undoubtedly face a gantlet of criticism from members of the Armed Services Committee. Republicans are preparing to interrogate Hegel on controversial comments he made in the past about the United States'

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  • Dollar bill will get loopy new look if Lew becomes Treasury secretary

    New York Magazine's Kevin Roose imagines what the U.S. dollar could look like if President Barack Obama names Jack Lew the next Treasury secretary, as expected:

    Image courtesy of New York Magazine

    Roose pulled Lew's loopy John Hancock from documents he signed in 2011 while he was director of the Office of Management and Budget.

    If chosen, he will likely follow Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's lead and clean up his penmanship for currency signature.

    Read More »from Dollar bill will get loopy new look if Lew becomes Treasury secretary
  • Grover Norquist group opposes Virginia GOP governor’s tax plan

    Republican Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on Tuesday released a proposal to replace the state's gasoline tax with a higher sales tax to pay for the state's transportation programs. But it may have one vocal opponent: Grover Norquist.

    McDonnell's plan intends to raise $3.1 billion in revenue over the next five years by increasing the state's 5 percent sales tax to 5.8; mandating a $100 fee for vehicles that run on alternative fuel sources; and increasing car registration costs. The proposal assumes a $1 billion windfall from a federal Internet sales tax that has yet to be passed in Washington.

    But the state affairs manager at Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, Will Upton, argues that the outgoing governor could achieve the same goal of increasing funding for transportation without raising taxes by prioritizing spending cuts elsewhere. Upton dismissed the plan as "a Trojan horse" that will increase taxes.

    "The plan as it stands now fails in its goal to prioritize transportation spending

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  • Republican vows support for Sandy relief bill after storm region visit

    Mississippi Rep. Steve Palazzo was one of 67 Republicans who opposed a partial relief bill for the victims of Superstorm Sandy last week, but after visiting areas devastated by the storm, he has vowed to support a second $51 billion relief bill when Congress returns to Washington next week.

    “I was reminded of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. Mississippians have been through much of what the Sandy victims are experiencing," Palazzo, who represents a district along the Gulf Coast hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, said in a statement. “Now is the time for the federal government to provide immediate relief to those affected by the storm. I am fully committed to providing the relief they so desperately need."

    Palazzo made the announcement Tuesday after touring areas of New Jersey and New York still recovering from the October storm.

    With Palazzo's shift, the relief measure requires four other members who have voiced opposition to the measure to flip.

    The House and Senate

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