Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 2, 2014

October 1, 2014

Vote For Your Favorite Eric Holder Capitol Quip!

Vote For Your Favorite Eric Holder 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:

  • Does anyone really want this ball?
  • Usually it’s not the ref who fumbles the ball.
  • Jump on it and we can run out the clock!
  • Possession is nine-tenths of the law!
  • Anyone have Roger Goddell’s number?

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on Oct. 5th 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 4:14 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Hi-Ya, Jim McDermott!

Glad to see Rep. Jim McDermott is all warmed up for the new Bruce Lee exhibit coming soon to the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience in Seattle.

 

 

The multimedia retrospective, which is projected to run from this Friday (VIP preview kicks off at 3:15 pm) until at least November 1, is expected to feature martial arts demonstrations, examinations of Lee’s personal poetry writings, and, of course, screenings of his ridiculously fun film roles.

 

 

The Washington Democrat’s pro-Lee plug, as first reported by CNN, is the latest entry on his mostly work-related Vine account. But this contribution marks the first time the Washington Democrat has donned a costume (from Lee’s closet in “Game of Death” and paid homage to by Quentin Tarantino in “Kill Bill, Vol. I” with The Bride’s duds) to get the word out about anything.

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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Must. Stop. Ebola. Memes.

Now that the African-born Ebola outbreak has officially wormed its way onto U.S. soil, we must to band together to halt Internet pranksters from infecting our every social media stream with politicized takes on the deadly disease.

Never mind.

 

Must. Stop. Ebola. Memes.

(Screenshot)

Must. Stop. Ebola. Memes.

(Screenshot)

Must. Stop. Ebola. Memes.

(Screenshot)

 

Must. Stop. Ebola. Memes.

(Screenshot)

 

We’ve already lost that fight.

 

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September 30, 2014

Joshua Bell Performs Do-Over Concert

Joshua Bell Performs Do Over Concert

A lot more people stopped to listen this time. (Clark Mindock / CQ Roll Call)

 

Joshua Bell’s 2007 violin-busking session in the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station is the ultimate urban metaphor, a reminder to keep an eye out for beauty in unexpected places.

And, while the performance seven years ago posed the question of whether a world-class musician playing, unannounced with a baseball cap, in a busy Metro station would get noticed (Gene Weingarten’s story on it won a Pulitzer Prize), the follow-up performance on Tuesday answered, intentionally or not, a different question:

If the Washington Post wrote a story telling its readers that a Grammy-winning violinist would be playing for free in Union Station during lunchtime, would anyone show up, and would any of them say that they definitely would have known if they had randomly passed said violinist at rush hour? Full story

Noshtalgia: Catching Up With the Globe-Trotting Pasty

Noshtalgia: Catching Up With the Globe Trotting Pasty

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

One of the most rewarding things about helping you, the loyal Noshtalgia reader, reconnect with cherished comfort foods (other than finding them or the most readily accessible analog possible, of course) is learning just how integral said memory-making-meals are to their respective communities.

I have heard, for instance, about the preponderance of mom-and-pop pasty shacks that supposedly dot the landscape of Michigan’s northernmost appendage. But having never trekked across the Lake Superior-facing stretch of the Wolverine State, I am unfamiliar with the iron grip the savory hand pies have on native Michiganders.

At least until Nick Sharkey shared his deep-seated longing with me. Full story

Navigating the New Orleans Tummy

NEW ORLEANS — Attention political professionals, journalists and anyone else traveling beyond the Beltway this election season: When in doubt, eat where the district director suggests.

In the case of the Crescent City, even a frequent visitor would benefit from the advice of Enix Smith, district director for Louisiana Democratic Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, who dished on his go-to plates.

Among the best sampled from Smith’s list was food far from the madding crowd: fried chicken wings at Manchu. A purple block building across from the I-10 overpass in Treme, Manchu’s signage states: “Food Store PH 947-5507 Chinese Food Beer Groceries Liquor Po Boys Sea Food Plates American Food Fried Chicken Wings.” It’s a place easy to drive past. Don’t be fooled.

Navigating the New Orleans Tummy

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

The wings were a delight and a deal: Crispy, flaky batter surrounding manageably sized snacks. Unpretentious, tasty and cheap. Digging a little deeper into the food world revealed a shout-out for Manchu from “Eat Dat,” a recent book by Michael Murphy. The author assembles a panel of city food judges to rank dishes, restaurants and experiences and invites the reader to compare his picks to theirs. Under “Where to Get The Best Fried Chicken,” Manchu ranked at No. 7, in close company with esteemed establishments Dooky Chase’s and Willa Mae’s Scotch House.

Navigating the New Orleans Tummy

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Another highlight? Charbroiled oysters from Drago’s, a combination of flame-broiled oysters with an industrial-sized portion of Parmesan cheese, butter, garlic and parsley. It’s a unique, incredible mouthful.

Navigating the New Orleans Tummy

Alas, only so many meals can fit in a day. The rest of Smith’s list casts a wide net, and includes way-off-the-beaten path gems such as Castnet Seafood’s sausage on a bun. So those of you covering the Senate race down there, or working it, don’t be afraid to venture beyond Café du Monde and Commander’s Palace. In Richmond’s words, “When folks come to visit our city they definitely do not leave hungry.”

 

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During Recess, Congress Goes to the Dogs

With their tails wagging, Maya and Cash trotted around House office buildings Tuesday to raise awareness for a bill to protect pets of domestic-violence victims.

“If we could do this with all legislation, I think Congress would get more done,” said one delighted Hill staffer in Rep. Alcee L. Hastings’ office when the dogs came through the door.

Cash, a black-and-tan coonhound, had a blue pack on his back holding “Dear Colleague” letters urging members of Congress to support The Pet and Women Safety Act, sponsored by Reps. Katherine M. Clark, D-Mass., and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla. The bill expands protections to pets of domestic-violence victims and includes a grant program to incorporate pets into domestic-violence shelters.

The tall hound is a regular visitor in Clark’s congressional office and belongs to the congresswoman’s chief of staff, Brooke Scannell. “He likes to sit in on meetings,” legislative assistant Steve Thornton joked. Full story

‘Top Dog’ Trends Emerge

The mirth-makers at Fireside21 have once again thrust political pooches into the spotlight, rounding up some 30-odd photogenic pups for the 2014 “Top Dog” competition.

 

Top Dog Trends Emerge

(Screenshot)

 

Winston, the English lab belonging to Jon Corley, then-press assistant to Texas Republican Mac Thornberry, bested some six dozen pets with ties to Capitol Hill during last year’s inaugural roundup.

Other fan favorites included:

  • Most Competitive = Milton; House Press Gallery.  Breed: chow chow.
  • Best Hair = Lucy; Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky.  Breed: mini goldendoodle.
  • Most Likely to Succeed = Conan; Congressional Research Service.  Breed: hound/beagle.
  • Best Smile = Balto; Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas.  Breed: German shepherd.
  • Most Athletic = Banjo; Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, D-Mass.  Breed: border collie mix.
  • Biggest Flirt = Harley; Agriculture Committee.  Breed: worthless.
  • Most Regal = Lucy; Abled Americans.  Breed: dachshund.
  • Biggest Party Animal = Tanner; Rep. Bobby L. Rush, D-Ill. Breed: Yorkipoo.
  • Best Advisor = Pepper; Rep. Michael M. Honda, D-Calif.  Breed: Norwegian elk hound mix.

Although this year’s crop of dog-testants has only begun winning over the hearts and minds of the Internet-enabled public (the winner won’t be crowned until Oct. 15), certain prejudices appear to be steering early balloting.

People seem to prefer sparingly-used props — as in the case of the stress toy-chomping shih poo belonging to Wisconsin Democrat Gwen Moore.

 

Top Dog Trends Emerge

(Screenshot)

 

That seems to be besting overly-produced moments, a la the flag-draped westie put on parade by California Republican Ed Royce. Full story

Shuffling Cory Booker Around

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 44thannual legislative conference is officially in the books. And, unfortunately for the high-profile group, so is a glaring error about the actual stomping grounds associated with Sen. Cory Booker.

 

Shuffling Cory Booker Around

(CQ Roll Call Photo Illustration)

 

The program guide for the Phoenix Awards Dinner, held on Sept. 27, inexplicably lists the New Jersey Democrat as hailing from the Land of Lincoln.

Could the CBCF be trying to position Booker to follow in the steps of that actual trailblazing Illinois Democrat who currently occupies the Oval Office?

Are folks in #ThisTown so spellbound by the constantly on-the-go freshman lawmaker that nobody can be bothered to remember that he’s a Garden Stater?

Perhaps the printer just screwed up.

We’ll let you know where the CBCF plants him in next year’s booklet.

 

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September 29, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of James Traficant (Video)

Following his death Saturday, Heard on the Hill pays tribute to the colorful career of James A. Traficant Jr., who regularly reminded C-SPAN audiences of manure studies, his “weed-whacker” hair and his ability to kick liars in the crotch.

Related:

James Traficant Dies Following Tractor Accident

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Congressman or American Idol? (Video)

Congressman or American Idol? (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — John Lennon, Lady Gaga and Bono have all covered Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me.”

And on Sept. 27, Rep. Steve Southerland II took a stab at it.

The Republican sophomore, who faces an election challenge from Democratic attorney Gwen Graham, hosted a “Women for Southerland” rally in his Florida Panhandle 2nd District.

Toward the end of his speech, he sent a subtle hand signal to someone offstage. A shaggy-haired man stepped on stage and strapped on an acoustic guitar.

As Southerland closed out his speech, the opening chords of the 1961 hit began to play.

With Republican Reps. Cynthia M. Lummis of Wyoming and Martha Roby of Alabama (who were in town to support him) clapping behind him, Southerland offered up an able rendition.

Listen for yourself.

 

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Ted Stevens’ Totally Tubular Prediction

The late Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, warned us that this day would come.

 

 

But everyone just laughed at him.

 

Ted Stevens’ Totally Tubular Prediction

(Screenshot)

 

Who’s laughing now, social media-less world?

 

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Manufacturing Lobby Fetes ‘Factory Man’ Scribe

Business leaders plan to raise a glass Friday to journalist-turned-author Beth Macy in recognition of her work on “Factory Man,” the Tom Hanks-endorsed, anti-globalization success story.

 

Manufacturing Lobby Fetes Factory Man Scribe

(Screenshot)

 

In an environment wherein lawmakers continue wrestling with corporate inversions and the staggering flight of industrial jobs, Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Chairman John D. Bassett III stands as a testament to the resilience of the American worker.

 

 

“You people have proven that we can compete — and defeat — any competitor in any country in the world,” Vaughan-Bassett Furniture President and CEO Wyatt Bassett congratulated his employees in January 2012, after John helped revitalize the family business and surrounding city of Galax, Va., with a fresh infusion of cash and renewed stream of consumer demand. Full story

USGS Gets Its Rocks Off Touting Oktoberfest

Want the dirt on what makes Oktoberfest so special? The United States Geological Survey is pouring it on pretty thick in a recent blog post.

 

USGS Gets Its Rocks Off Touting Oktoberfest

(Screenshot)

 

Larding up the blogosphere with relevant, eyeball-grabbing content is a demanding gig. But, as the U.S. Forest Service recently discovered, hitching one’s public relations wagon to cultural events in today’s hyper-partisan environment can quickly lead one’s messaging wildly off course, as Smokey Bear found out when attempting to dispense some fire-safety/s’mores advice.

For while we here at HOH can appreciate writer Ethan Alpern’s shoutout to the humble hop plant — “Hops plays an important role in the flavor of beer,” he counsels — others might view it as a tacit endorsement of binge drinking.

 

USGS Gets Its Rocks Off Touting Oktoberfest

The proud winner of the Das Best Oktoberfest — held Sep. 27 at the D.C. Armory — “Best Beer Belly” contest. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Full story

Eric Holder Leaves the Field | Capitol Quip

Eric Holder Leaves the Field | Capitol Quip

Now that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., has announced his resignation, Congress will soon turn to the political football that will be confirming his successor. This brings us to this week’s Capitol Quip captioning contest.

Send us a caption for this week’s contest 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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