Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 22, 2014

October 21, 2014

Scott Brown Writes Off Bay State Naysayers

Senate hopeful Scott P. Brown has no interest in what non-believers from his former home state have to say about his bid to topple New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen.

“I’m not gonna worry about what, you know, somebody from Massachusetts thinks about a New Hampshire race,” the one-time Bay State Republican assured Boston radio show host Howie Carr Tuesday. Full story

Politicians Opt to Swap Sweets, Brews and ‘Cue in World Series Bets

Whichever club clinches the best-of-seven World Series — be it the back-after-nearly-three-decades Kansas City Royals or the ring-collecting San Francisco Giants — stands to earn their respective congressional delegations a humdinger of a celebratory feast.

Democrats in both chambers have seized on the season-ending baseball saga (Game 1 is scheduled for Tuesday at 8:07 p.m. in Kansas City, Missouri) as an opportunity to talk smack to one another and trumpet their most prized regional spoils.

Over in the House, Minority Leader and self-styled cacao connoisseur Nancy Pelosi of California would presumably treat Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver II of Missouri to a basket of gourmet confections should the Royals complete their Cinderella story.

A Pelosi aide confirmed that she has, in the past, rewarded others with samples of Ghirardelli and TCHO creations. “But of course we don’t plan on giving up any chocolate,” Team Pelosi suggested.

Cleaver has countered with the promise of a president’s platter from Gates Bar-B-Q, which is renowned for its pork ribs and burnt ends.

“I don’t usually gamble, but I will make an exception and wager some of the finest barbecue Kansas City, Missouri, has to offer,” Cleaver said in a statement. “Victory shall be sweet indeed.”

Full story

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.

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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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