Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 21, 2014

October 20, 2014

Armchair-Quarterbacking Jim Inhofe’s Power Play

With control of the Senate up for grabs this fall and little else to do while their bosses furiously campaign to keep collecting paychecks, congressional staffers have taken to their own type of fantasy role-playing: plotting out the new boss’s next move.

A bemused political observer noted, for instance, that Democratic support staff have begun speculating as to how Sen. James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., might shake up the establishment should the GOP reclaim the majority come November.

Armchair Quarterbacking Jim Inhofe’s Power Play

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Should the current power structure flip-flop, sitting Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., would be obliged to hand over the gavel to Inhofe.

“There’s a sort of game going on among the Hill staff to decide how he would rename the [Environmental Protection Agency]  building, given the chance: The George W Bush EPA building, The Koch Brothers EPA building, etc.,” our source relayed via email.

Either scenario would, naturally, enrage longstanding environmental stewards. Full story

Jason Chaffetz’s Stolen Moments

Rep. Jason Chaffetz doesn’t like being away from Washington, D.C.

He loves it.

The aversion to #ThisTown, one might be surprised to learn, has nothing to do with the hyperpartisanship plaguing the current Congress or the mania surrounding the upcoming midterm elections.

The guy simply prefers basking in the glory of nature. And he strives to preserve those fleeting memories by capturing all he can through the lens of his digital camera.

Jason Chaffetz’s Stolen Moments

(Courtesy Rep. Jason Chaffetz)

“Mostly I like photographing wildlife. It’s a little more adventurous,” the Utah Republican told HOH about his penchant for sneaking shots of stunning creatures in their natural habitats.

The avid outdoorsman compared photo stalking with hunting — “I like hunting, but you can’t always get a permit or a tag. You can always have permission to go out and try to photograph an elk,” Chaffetz suggested — sans the bloodshed, of course. Full story

October 19, 2014

The Viral Campaign Season | Capitol Quip

The Viral Campaign Season | Capitol Quip

The Ebola virus’s arrival from across the pond has fostered the typical amount of partisan bickering, scapegoating and media fear-mongering during this campaign season. That brings us to this week’s Capitol Quip captioning contest.

Send us a caption by leaving it in the comments section. Editors will pick five finalists on Wednesday, and everyone can vote for the winner through Thursday.

To see our previous winners, check us out on Pinterest.

 

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Sometimes They Feel Like a Nut | Capitol Quip

Sometimes They Feel Like a Nut | Capitol Quip

Thanks to the many readers who contributed captions for last week’s Capitol Quip contest. Here’s the winning entry, as voted by readers of Heard on the Hill.

The winner will receive a signed color print suitable for framing from Roll Call cartoonist R.J. Matson. Check out our past winners on Pinterest.

 

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October 17, 2014

The Sweet Taste of Victory (Biscuits): Puppy Wins ‘Top Dog’ Competition

The Sweet Taste of Victory (Biscuits): Puppy Wins Top Dog Competition

Hammie greets one of her admirers. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

A 12-week-old English bulldog burst onto the Capitol Hill scene this year, winning the second annual “Top Dog” competition.

Hammie, who can be spotted roaming around the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, beat out nearly 60 other dogs in the online competition for cutest Capitol canine, hosted by constituent engagement firm Fireside21.

The competition garnered more than 80,000 votes (participants could vote multiple times) and Hammie’s owner said the pup, who took 35 percent, had a fan base extending beyond Capitol Hill.

“People were excited about her. Plus my family back home, they voted. And the people who I got her from in Tampa, they voted,” said Hammie’s owner, Corey Hamilton. “Everybody just started voting for her. She’s always out and about. I live on Capitol Hill, too, and so we’re always out and I think that’s what got the word out.” Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 1:35 p.m.
Critters

Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of Don Young (Video)

As election season rolls on, Heard on the Hill pays tribute to Rep. Don Young, the self-described “alpha wolf” of Alaska politics who loves cranes, beanies and the Anchorage Daily News.

Related:

Don Young: the Kodiak Bear of Capitol Hill

The Softer Side of Don Young: A Counterpoint

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NoVa Dems Bid Jim Moran Fond Farewell

Northern Virginia Democrats on Thursday rallied around retiring Rep. James P. Moran at the sold-out 21st Annual Kennedy-King Dinner, a political fundraiser focused on feting progressive leaders and civil rights champs.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly took the opportunity to commemorate his long-serving colleague by presenting Moran with a flowery tribute destined to be woven into the fabric of the Congressional Record during the post-election lame-duck session.

NoVa Dems Bid Jim Moran Fond Farewell

(Courtesy Team Connolly)

“It is impossible to crystalize the entirety and the enormous impact of Jim Moran’s political career on our lives here in Northern Virginia … and on our nation,” Connolly reportedly assured the crowd huddled together at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner.

Per an attendee, House hopeful and Moran’s presumed replacement, Don Beyer, paid tribute not only to his predecessor, but also heaved rhetorical laurels at one-time Moran aide and renowned Democrat strategist, the late Mame Reiley.

“I have just been blessed to be able to represent the people of the 8th District for 24 years,” Moran told the assembled well-wishers.

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October 16, 2014

Dream Defenders Out ‘Vote or Die’ Diddy

Back when he was still somewhat culturally relevant, Sean “INSERT NONSENSICAL NICKNAME HERE” Combs attempted to herd disenchanted youth into the election booth by spearheading the hyperbolic “Vote or Die” project.

A band of Florida-based activists known as Dream Defenders is sounding a similar alarm leading into the upcoming midterms. But its message is deadly serious.

DD, which rose to prominence in the aftermath of the killing of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin, is urging minorities to protect themselves from future gun violence via the provocative “Vote or Vest” campaign.

Full story

Bob Casey Campaigning for FIFA to Kick Qatar to the Curb

As part of his effort to shed light on allegations of corruption in FIFA, the soccer world’s governing body, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., appeared on the Men in Blazers podcast Wednesday to talk about an unreleased report on the bidding process surrounding the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Bob Casey Campaigning for FIFA to Kick Qatar to the Curb

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“I think anyone would hope when you have an investigation like that, that it is on the public record so that anybody can see what the investigation yielded,” Casey said.

Casey wrote to FIFA president Sepp Blatter earlier this month asking for the release of the report, which was authored by former U.S. Attorney Mike Garcia, after Blatter said that FIFA would not release it.

“If anything, the latest actions raise even more questions about the voting for 2022 as well as 2018,” Casey said. “Obviously the U.S. has a vested interest, but even apart from that I think it is an issue of … great concern.

His comments come after he wrote to Blatter In June, calling on FIFA to strip the 2022 World Cup from Qatar because of allegations of harsh labor practices. The 2018 World Cup was awarded to Russia.

The U.S. bid to host both the 2018 and 2022 tournaments, and came in second behind Qatar for the 2022 cup. Full story

October 15, 2014

‘Dogs Impersonating Biden’ — It’s a Thing Now

In a world flush with insanely candid shots of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. being, well, Bidenesque, there’s only one way to outdo the freewheeling almost-leader of the free world: pair him up with canine doppelgangers.

Dogs Impersonating Biden — Its a Thing Now

(Screenshot)

At least that’s what online photo hound “delrayser” has done with the nascent “Dogs Impersonating Biden” site.

“I think Joe Biden’s great, for a lot of the same goofy, lovable reasons that dogs are. I expect that’s why people find the Tumblr funny,” the visually motivated blogger said of this new pet project.

The surreal matchmaking service was launched late last week after delrayser stumbled upon a rib-tickling social media post.

“My original inspiration was the photo of Biden looking out a window … and it struck me as funny because of the sullen expression on his face. Sort of like a dog staring out the window after you when you leave the house,” DIB’s creator explained. “So I found a comparable photo and posted them both in a tweet.”

 

 

Biden kicked the door open even further by getting caught in the now iconic I-always-don-Aviators-before-devouring-ice-cream pose. Full story

Vote for Your Favorite Leaves of Political Change Capitol Quip!

Vote for Your Favorite Leaves of Political Change Capitol Quip!

The five finalists for this week’s caption contest are ready for your votes.

Using the comments section below, vote for your favorite caption until 5 p.m. ET Thursday.

Here are this week’s finalists:

They’re both fall guys, if you ask me!
I used to love this season when the only nuts we saw were acorns.
Perhaps, a new version of Splendor in the Grass?
It’s all about who runs out of gas first!
Humans should do like we do. Take the nuts, store them away, and forget where they are.

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on Oct. 19 and in the following print edition of Roll Call. The contest winner will receive a signed color print of his or her Capitol Quip cartoon from the cartoonist, R.J. Matson.

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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By Rebecca Gale Posted at 3:55 p.m.
Capitol Quip

D.C. Drowns in Whiskey Talk

“Wow! I’ve never seen so many whiskeys I don’t recognize,” one apparently overwhelmed drinker declared as he surveyed the row upon row of handcrafted tipples trotted out by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States during its latest “Spirit of Mount Vernon” gala.

D.C. Drowns in Whiskey Talk

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The annual fundraiser, held each year on the same grounds former president and founding father George Washington once called home, benefits causes ranging from the educational efforts spearheaded by the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington which has cropped up nearby, to the veterans-focused Wounded Warriors Family Support Program.

Retiring Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., was honored for his commitment to keeping tax rates low and as well as his ambitious plan to streamline the increasingly complex code.

D.C. Drowns in Whiskey Talk

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Some people paid attention to the awards presentation.

Most folks, however, remained riveted by the rare and pricey pours offered up for public consumption. Full story

October 14, 2014

Hillary Clinton Fan Achieves Sheer Ecstasy

“Ma, hurry and pull the car around!”

Hillary Clinton Fan Achieves Sheer Ecstasy

(Screenshot)

“I got her! I really got her!”

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Test Class Already Hooked on Line-Skirting Dining Service

The super-secret Usher app has been helping a tight-lipped clique of well-connected bon vivants sidestep the restaurant reservation process for several weeks now. Rumor has it that some of the early adopters may not be able to go back to living without it.

The homegrown hospitality aid launched in “stealth mode” — a closely guarded roll-out extended to “influential” people in D.C., including an undisclosed number of Capitol Hill denizens — in early September.

Test Class Already Hooked on Line Skirting Dining Service

(Screenshot)

“My boss says it’s like the Uber of restaurants,” our tipster shared. “He says that he was initially skeptical, but hasn’t used OpenTable or Yelp since.”

Per the tipster, Usher somehow enables users to “get access to exclusive clubs/restaurants without a reservation.”

Team Usher declined to comment on how many people have enrolled in the stealth cohort or which local restaurants have embraced the line-cutting program. But the clandestine company sounds like it’s almost ready to come out of its shell.

“Service is throughout D.C. with the intention to expand soon after public launch,” an Usher aide shared via email. Full story

DC Vote to Celebrate Pro-Democracy Efforts at Annual Gala

The autonomy-seeking advocates at DC Vote — a District-minded group backed by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton — plan to honor the Herb Block Foundation Wednesday for continuing to nurture the spirit of democracy.

DC Vote to Celebrate Pro Democracy Efforts at Annual Gala

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

According to organizers, the 2014 Champions of Democracy Awards Gala is scheduled to take place at the Library of Congress from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets to the fundraiser — which is also expected to commemorate the 40th anniversary of D.C. Home Rule — are $175 per person.

“Americans living in our nation’s capital raise families, pay full federal taxes and fight and die in wars but are denied voting representation in the House and the Senate,” is how DC Vote summarizes its mission to defeat the disenfranchisement faced by local residents.

Norton is scheduled to serve as honorary chairwoman of the annual fete, an event that has historically attracted fellow pols such as Rep. José E. Serrano, the New York Democrat who made an appearance at the group’s 2013 get-together. Full story

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