Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 19, 2014

December 18, 2014

Pols, Public Critique Wisdom of Silencing ‘The Interview’

Pols, Public Critique Wisdom of Silencing ‘The Interview’

Rogen, center, has gone radio silent since the controversy intensified. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Moviegoers from all walks of life have been stopped dead in their tracks by Sony’s decision to drop the sociopolitical football that is  “The Interview” from its schedule, due to mounting pressures from external forces.

Just days after the film’s co-stars Seth Rogen and James Franco bowed out of making any more public appearances for the film, the besieged studio packed it in as well, shelving a satirical romp that has purportedly deeply offended supporters of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. The stunning case of self-censorship unleashed a cacophony of analyses from instapundits.

Full story

Boehner Can’t Wait to Open 114th Congress

Like a kid counting down the days until “It’s Clobberin’ Time!” on neatly wrapped Christmas presents, Speaker John A. Boehner is absolutely giddy about getting the GOP-controlled Congress underway next month.

We presume Santa will keep tabs on whether House and Senate Republicans play nice in the new year.

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Homebrewers Urge Obama to Keep At It

The American Homebrewers Association is hoping to slide a little something under the White House Christmas tree this year: lifetime memberships for President Barack Obama and outgoing-toque Sam Kass.

AHA Director Gary Glass has extended the offer to keep the beer-making duo — Obama is credited with purchasing the first homebrew kit used at the White House; Kass and the rest of the White House cooking crew helped hone the resulting recipes — as part of the fold into perpetuity.

Full story

December 17, 2014

The Five Capitol Quips of Christmas

The Five Capitol Quips of Christmas

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:

  • Citi Bank topped it off with a 24kt gold star.
  • No Matter What Old Ebeneezer Cruz says, it always looks pretty once the star is lit.
  • Two words: Duct tape.
  • Did we bury the Big Banks ornament far enough in there?
  • It was a modest 5-foot tall tree, until the Apporpriators got hold of it.

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on Dec. 20. The contest winner will receive a signed color print of his or her Capitol Quip cartoon from the cartoonist, R.J. Matson.

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By Jason Dick Posted at 3:41 p.m.
Capitol Quip

John Dingell Wraps It All Up in Holiday Jingle

Rep. John D. Dingell, the retiring dean of the House, jokingly reflects on a lifetime of public service and the current state of congressional affairs in his latest holiday greeting.

John Dingell Wraps It All Up in Holiday Jingle

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Michigan Democrat, who each winter lampoons the year that was, is concluding his tenure on the Hill after nearly 60 years. His wife, newly minted lawmaker Debbie Dingell, is set to succeed him in the 114th Congress. Full story

December 16, 2014

DHS Not Ready to Torpedo ‘The Interview’ Opening

International troublemakers Seth Rogen and James Franco may be ready to run for cover from the mystery hackers who’ve brought Sony to its horribly bruised knees, but the feds see no reason (yet) to deprive moviegoers of a few laughs on Christmas.

Per Variety, the Department of Homeland Security has found “no credible intelligence” regarding threats the self-proclaimed “Guardians of Peace” have leveled against those who plan on seeing the farcical flick later this month.

Full story

Eleanor Holmes Norton Hosts 25th Annual Kids’ Holiday Party

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., will once again open up the halls of Congress to the District’s disadvantaged youth on Wednesday, injecting some cheer into the holiday season by hosting her annual Capitol Hill Holiday Party.

Eleanor Holmes Norton Hosts 25th Annual Kids’ Holiday Party

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The festive gathering, scheduled to take place in 345 Cannon from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., is being put on in conjunction with the UPO Inspire Foundation, a charitable organization that works to empower local families. According to Team Norton, this year’s gathering will feature gifts for the attending children as well as a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

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Ex-Rep. Heath Shuler Earns Dubious Football Distinction

Ex Rep. Heath Shuler Earns Dubious Football Distinction

Shuler put his football skills to use as a member of Congress. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ex-Rep. Heath Shuler is associated with two franchises that have their public relations challenges: Congress and Washington’s NFL franchise. It’s his time as quarterback in D.C. that has earned him further ignominy, though.

According to The Washington Post’s Fancy Stats, the North Carolina Democrat is the Washington pro-football team’s worst quarterback. Ever. Or at least since 1970′s NFL-AFL merger. Full story

December 15, 2014

Exit Interview: James Brandell Shares Greatest Regret, Memories of Pop Stars

He’s seen plenty of people — including his fair share of celebrities — come and go during his decade-plus tenure on Capitol Hill. But House Republican aide James Brandell wouldn’t trade his time in Congress for anything.

Brandell has served as chief of staff to retiring Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., since 2001, an experience he’s relished every step of the way.

Exit Interview: James Brandell Shares Greatest Regret, Memories of Pop Stars

Rep. Paul Ryan (left), R-Wis., joins retiring Camp (center) and Brandell in commemorating the new research grant Brandell created in Camp’s honor to distribute all the money raised for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. (Courtesy Leukemia & Lymphoma Society)

Full story

Festive Democratic Aide Keeps ’Em In Stitches

Dressing up for the holidays might not be on his list of official duties. But as House aide Andrew Noh demonstrated during the thick of “cromnibus” mania, sporting something snazzy is clearly a personal priority.

While many in the media trumpeted that the staffer to California Democrat Linda T. Sánchez had saved them from wasting away to nothing by sharing a much-needed stakeout snack, others marveled at the getup the knight in curiously patterned armor wore into the brilliantly executed PR stunt. Full story

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of Dec. 8 (Video)

With holiday jet fumes in the air, Congress spent its final full week of 2014 on “The Colbert Report,” strategizing for bar fights and telling their favorite Dick Cheney quail hunting stories.

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Blake Farenthold Relaxes Grip on Sex-Related Domain

One lucky porn pusher will be able to exploit a whole new traffic stream this summer — just as soon as Rep. Blake Farenthold relinquishes control of blow-me.org.

The Texas Republican had the prescience of mind to snatch up the salacious sounding domain back during his cyber-speculating days, laying claim to the sodomitic-sounding site in 1999.

Blake Farenthold Relaxes Grip on Sex Related Domain

(Screenshot)

Full story

HOH Word of the Week: Clinker

Clinker. n. An amendment or rider to a bill that is so out of place that it stands out like a wrong musical note. In November 1973, President Nixon complained about “a couple of clinkers” in the Alaska pipeline bill with which business groups were unhappy. See also joker.

ETYMOLOGY: The term derives from the Dutch klinker, a vitrified brick that clinks when struck.”

— From “The Congress Dictionary” by Paul Dickson and Paul Clancy

Related:

HOH Word of the Week: Vote

HOH Word of the Week: Congressionalist

HOH Word of the Week: Bold

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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December 14, 2014

Lighting the Capitol Quip Christmas Tree

Lighting the Capitol Quip Christmas Tree

All Congress wants for Christmas is, what exactly? That brings us to this week’s Capitol Quip.

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

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

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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December 13, 2014

Merry Chromnimas! | Capitol Quip

Merry Chromnimas! | Capitol Quip

Thanks to the 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.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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By Cameron Easley Posted at 7:05 p.m.
Capitol Quip

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