Blog Posts by Chris Moody

  • Rick Santorum joins World Net Daily as ‘exclusive’ columnist

    Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has joined the website World Net Daily as a columnist, the outlet reported on Sunday.

    "Rick Santorum—the former U.S. senator who ignited grass-roots conservatives as a Republican candidate for president this year—today joins WND as an exclusive columnist," an unsigned announcement on the site reads. "His commentaries will be featured each Monday."

    The conservative site is best known for promoting conspiracy theories, most notably about President Barack Obama's birthplace.

    Santorum published his first column on Monday, which argues against the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

    A former Pennsylvania senator, Santorum won 11 primaries and caucuses during his race for the Republican presidential nomination earlier this year. He said last month that he is considering running for president again in 2016.

    Read More »from Rick Santorum joins World Net Daily as ‘exclusive’ columnist
  • Pelosi will try to force House vote to extend middle-class tax rates

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

    WASHINGTON—House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will try to force a vote on the House floor to extend current tax rates for the middle class next week if Republicans do not act, the California Democrat announced on Friday.

    During a press conference on Capitol Hill, Pelosi called on House Republicans, who control the chamber, to hold another floor vote on whether to extend current tax rates for individuals who earn $200,000 or less and families making $250,000 or less. If they don't, Pelosi vowed to file a "discharge petition" that would force a vote if 218 House members sign it, which is unlikely.

    The bill Pelosi wants to see put to a vote is identical to a measure passed in the Democrat-controlled Senate in July that extends the rates for middle-income earners for one year. House Republicans responded by rejecting the bill and passing their own measure that extends current tax rates for all income brackets.

    "We're calling upon the Republican leadership in the House to bring this

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  • Boehner on ‘fiscal cliff’ talks: ‘There’s a stalemate’

    Republican House Speaker John Boehner (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

    WASHINGTON—House Speaker John Boehner on Friday said that despite receiving a counterproposal from the White House as part of a deal to avoid a series of automatic tax increases and spending cuts, no progress had been made between Republicans and Democrats.

    "There's a stalemate, let's not kid ourselves," Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, told reporters during a news conference on Capitol Hill. "It's not a serious proposal. Right now we're almost nowhere."

    The White House on Thursday sent Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to deliver a proposal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff by increasing taxes by $1.6 trillion over the next decade, including $50 billion in stimulus spending for mostly infrastructure and $400 billion in savings in popular entitlement programs such as Medicare.

    Republicans rejected it right away. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly laughed in Geithner's face.

    "Our original framework still stands," Boehner said the next day, reiterating his opposition

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  • (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

    The winners of the $587 million Powerball jackpot should obviously consider themselves lucky. But they should be especially grateful that they won in 2012 and not next year, when a possible dive over the so-called fiscal cliff would certainly slash their winnings.

    Two Powerball winners, one from Arizona and another from Missouri, were announced on Thursday and will split the jackpot. Assuming they take the lump sum of $384 million right now rather than the full $587 million over 29 years, each winner will receive about $125 million after state and federal taxes. Not bad.

    But consider this hypothetical scenario.

    Imagine it's Jan. 1, 2013, and President Barack Obama and Republican congressional leaders have failed to reach a budget deal. The breakdown has triggered the dreaded "fiscal cliff," meaning the income tax cuts set by former President George W. Bush have expired across the board and the tax burden on every income bracket has jumped.

    Right about then, the Powerball winners are

    Read More »from Powerball winners would have paid $17.7 million more in taxes if they won after going over ‘fiscal cliff’
  • John Boehner: ‘No substantive progress’ on ‘fiscal cliff’ talks

    Republican House Speaker John Boehner (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

    WASHINGTON—House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday offered a grim portrayal of the progress between Republicans and Democrats on a deal to avoid a series of automatic tax increases next year.

    "No substantive progress has been made in the talks between the White House and the House during the past two weeks," Boehner said during a press briefing on Capitol Hill, signaling that little had changed since Republicans presented their framework for a deal earlier this month.

    Both parties are currently negotiating behind closed doors to produce a deal to avoid many of the tax increases. Boehner said Thursday that he continues to be open to the Democrats' call for policies that would increase tax revenue, but only in exchange for an overhaul of the federal government's expensive entitlement programs.

    "Revenue is only on the table if there are serious spending cuts that are part of this agreement," Boehner said.

    Boehner, an Ohio Republican, confirmed that he spoke to President Barack Obama by

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  • Behind the curtain of the Great and Powerful Grover Norquist

    (Michael D'Antuono/www.artandresponse.com)

    WASHINGTON—If aliens landed in Washington, D.C. right now, they might assume in their search for a terrestrial leader that a bespectacled man called "Grover Norquist" controlled the planet's most powerful nation. They might also conclude that this person had magical powers.

    The misunderstanding wouldn't necessarily be their fault.

    Grover Fever has swept the nation's capital this week, shortly after thousands of politicos waddled back into the city after a Thanksgiving break. After years of notoriety in Washington but near obscurity elsewhere, Norquist is becoming a household name around the dinner table.

    "The Colbert Report" recently devoted a feature to Norquist, portraying the 56-year-old Harvard graduate as an omniscient creature whose power knows no bounds. Norquist has been all over cable news shows and the subject of lengthy profiles in prestigious newspapers and magazines. Outside Washington's Metro stations this week, hawkers handed out free tabloid dailies bearing the

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  • Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

    The Berlin Wall had already fallen by the time Robert Griffin III was born.

    Today, the son of two Army sergeants has grown into one of the most hyped young football stars on the national scene. He roared through Baylor University with a political science degree in less than four years, winning the 2011 Heisman Trophy along the way. Griffin then moved to Washington — but not for the same reasons as other Poli Sci grads who flock to the shores of the Potomac. Chosen by the Washington Redskins in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft , the 22-year-old star quarterback is the new great hope of the D.C. sports world.

    Despite living in the nation's political capital, Griffin — commonly referred to by his nickname "RG3" — knows better than to talk much about his own political views. But he has a passion for encouraging young people to vote.

    In October, Griffin joined the nonprofit group Rock The Vote to encourage young people to cast a ballot. Griffin sent his own ballot to Texas by mail,

    Read More »from RG3 on playing football in a political town, his dream pick-up game with Obama and more: The Yahoo News interview
  • Rick Santorum ‘open’ to running for president again

    Rick Santorum (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

    Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator who ran for president this year, says he is considering a second campaign for the White House in 2016.

    During a visit to Capitol Hill Monday, Santorum told The Weekly Standard magazine that he is "open" to running again.

    "I'm open to it, yeah," Santorum told reporter Michael Warren. "I think there's a fight right now as to what the soul of the Republican Party's going to be and the conservative movement, and we have something to say about that. I think from our battle, we're not going to leave the field."

    Santorum surprised many Republicans by securing the most votes in the Iowa caucuses in January, the first electoral contest of the presidential election cycle. He went on to win 11 states in total before dropping his bid and conceding to Mitt Romney in April.

    Since then, he has launched an advocacy group called Patriot Voices and written a book, "American Patriots: Answering the Call to Freedom."

    Read More »from Rick Santorum ‘open’ to running for president again
  • Grover Norquist on tax pledge: ‘No one is caving’

    Some Republicans are showing a willingness to raise taxes, but conservative activist Grover Norquist, who has convinced Republican candidates and policymakers to sign a pledge never to increase rates, thinks it's all a bluff.

    "No one is caving," Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Sunday. "For 20 years Democrats have tried over and over to trick Republicans into breaking the pledge. It hasn't happened. This isn't my first rodeo."

    Republicans are facing pressure from Democrats to reach a deal that includes increasing tax rates to avoid a slew of other tax increases and spending cuts set to begin in 2013. And some are willing to do it.

    "I will violate the pledge," said South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham Sunday during an appearance on ABC's "This Week." In return, he added, Democrats must agree to overhauling federal programs like Social Security and Medicare.

    Norquist said the campaign to pressure

    Read More »from Grover Norquist on tax pledge: ‘No one is caving’
  • Congressional Black Caucus bids farewell to Allen West, its last remaining GOP member

    Florida Republican Rep. Allen West (Larry Marano/Getty Images)

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.—The Congressional Black Caucus will revert to a Democrats-only club when the 113th Congress convenes in January.

    The group's sole Republican, Florida Rep. Allen West, conceded a contentious House race on Tuesday. West was the third Republican to join the caucus since its formation in 1971; the caucus' last Republican member was Connecticut Rep. Gary Frank who was unseated 16 years ago. Republican Mia Love, who said she planned to join the CBC if elected, lost her Utah House race. The only other black House Republican, Rep. Tim Scott of South Carolina, declined to become a member in 2010 and has not indicated that he will do so in the coming session.

    West, an outspoken Army veteran and conservative whose rise to power was boosted by a groundswell of tea party support, was known as a rabble-rouser within the caucus.

    As the lone Republican, he did little to shape the group's liberal policy stances. Outgoing CBC Chairman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri added a disclaimer

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