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

December 19, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Farewell to the 113th Congress (Video)

Before leaving for the holidays, lawmakers paid tribute to one another, recalling “spawned” marriages while thanking their “awful” staff.

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Norton on Colbert’s Last Show, Chatting With Norquist and the After-Party

Norton on Colberts Last Show, Chatting With Norquist and the After Party

(Screenshot)

As a mob of guests reunited for Stephen Colbert’s final report to bid the host farewell, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., was spotted in the foreground, swaying and singing along.

Norton appeared on the “Colbert Report” several times over the past nine years. She first appeared on the show in 2006 as part of Colbert’s “Better Know a District” series, in a memorable segment where Colbert and Norton sparred over whether D.C. is part of the United States. But on Friday, Norton described a wonderful reunion — and a lively after-party — as Colbert said goodbye to his on-air persona. Full story

Officials Decry Sony Hack, Cyber Assault Against ‘The Interview’

Officials Decry Sony Hack, Cyber Assault Against ‘The Interview’

Head movie honcho Dodd criticized the North Korean regime. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The blowback against the “sophisticated actors” who’ve managed to muzzle the dimwitted duo at the heart of gag flick “The Interview,” has now officially swelled from general outrage to international incident.

Earlier this week, lawmakers railed against the abrupt shelving of the absurdist romp, but the administration continued to play things close to the vest. No mas. Full story

D.C. Helps Stephen Colbert Say Goodbye

Citizens of #ThisTown were among the pop culture illuminati sending off faux conservative blowhard Stephen Colbert on the final episode of “The Colbert Report,” all to a resounding singalong of “We’ll Meet Again.”

Along with longtime collaborator Jon Stewart and the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jeff Tweedy, Cookie Monster and the dragon Smaug from “The Hobbit,” the chorus of well-wishers included:

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.

Full story

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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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