Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 4, 2015

Posts by Jason Dick

291 Posts

August 31, 2015

HOH Word of the Week: McKinley’d and Denali’d

Upon further reflection of the Obama administration’s decision to revert the name of Alaska’s Mount McKinley to its traditional name, Mount Denali, HOH offers a twofer word of the week selection.

McKinley’d. The bestowing of an honor on someone or something that is unexpected and makes little sense to many of the people it affects.

Denali’d. The revocation of an unexpected honor.

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August 27, 2015

Obama Explains Willie Mae’s Scotch House Grease Spot

Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call

Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call

“If you come to New Orleans and you don’t get a grease spot on your clothing, you didn’t really enjoy the city.”

— President Barack Obama, reflecting Friday on the stain on his suit, courtesy of eating the fried chicken at Willie Mae’s Scotch House in the Crescent City.

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Larry Craig Day’s 8th Anniversary

The fallout from Craig's arrest continues to this day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The fallout from Craig’s arrest continues to this day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It was eight years ago today that Sen. Larry Craig’s congressional career ended up in the toilet.

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On Aug. 27, 2007, Roll Call’s John McArdle went up with a story detailing how the Idaho Republican had been arrested on June 11 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport by a plainclothes cop “investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men’s public restroom.” He later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct on Aug. 8 in Hennepin County District Court, paid $500 in fines and fees, was sentenced to a 10-day jail term that was stayed and given one-year probation.

“It was the strangest day of my political reporting career,” McArdle, now producer and host of C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” told HOH. Full story

August 26, 2015

Hoopsters Trash Talk at White House Ceremony

Obama receives a jersey from Taurasi during an event at the White House Wednesday. (Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)

Is Obama sucking in his gut as Taurasi offers him a jersey during the White House event? (Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)

Hey, what’s a little trash talk among hoopsters? Baller-in-chief Barack Obama welcomed the WNBA champion Phoenix Mercury to the White House today, and, according to the official White House transcript, POTUS engaged in a little back and forth with the Mercury’s Diana Taurasi:

  • TAURASI: Well, on behalf of the Phoenix Mercury and the WNBA, we want to give you a 2014 WNBA Championship jersey.
  • THE PRESIDENT: Nice!
  • TAURASI: It’s an XL. (Laughter.) So you might have to get on the Atkins. But thank you very much for having us, Mr. President. It’s an honor. (Applause.)

We hear the commander in chief likes his cheeseburgers, so that should make the transition to the protein-heavy Atkins diet all the easier.

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August 25, 2015

2016 Candidates on Display at Iowa State Fair

Ah, the Iowa State Fair, where 2016 candidates vying for the highest office in the land and their surrogates hoist themselves into tractors (John R. Kasich), hork down pork on a stick (Lindsey Graham), pose for awkward selfies (Debbie Stabenow), toss footballs with little kids (Marco Rubio) and try, unsuccessfully, not to look to sweaty for the camera (Tom Harkin). Roll Call’s Al Drago was there for the sugar-induced highs and lows and everything in between.

Related:

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August 24, 2015

HOH Word of the Week: District Days/District Work Period

District days/district work period. Time off from Washington to go home and work on constituent matters. The House has a periodic schedule of district work days; the Senate takes off one week each month. This practice has been abused by some members, who use it as vacation time.”

— The Congress Dictionary, by Paul Dickson and Paul Clancy.

(Editor’s Note: The copyright for this source is 1993, which shows how much, and how little, things change.)

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Jim Webb’s 1979 Thoughts on Violence, Women and Sexuality

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Jim Webb says he’s changed his mind about his feelings on women in combat. The Virginia Democrat and 2016 presidential candidate spelled out his objections in a 1979 Washingtonian piece that is bracing in its argument that women in combat roles would have dire effects on the military’s viability.

On CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Webb said he was “proud” of the first two females who recently graduated the Army’s Ranger School, was “totally comfortable now with the military being able to make these decisions in a way that goes to performance” and noted their matriculation from West Point.

Webb’s team even put up on his 2016 campaign web site a story touting the CNN appearance. It’s a big turnaround from his Nov. 1, 1979 Washingtonian article (“Jim Webb: Women Can’t Fight”). Its language about human nature, gender roles and the place of women in the service academies, is stark.

Among its more memorable passages: Full story

July 31, 2015

That Time a Congressman Killed a Lion in Zimbabwe (Video)

From left, Darryl Riley, Duane Thomas, and Howard McKinney, move an African Lion killed during a hunt in Zimbabwe by Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga. The Architect of the Capitol and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) employees moved the lion from Rayburn Building to Broun's new office in Cannon, December 10, 2008. (CQ Roll Call File Photo).

From left, Darryl Riley, Duane Thomas, and Howard McKinney, move an African Lion killed during a hunt in Zimbabwe by Rep. Paul Broun. The Architect of the Capitol and Chief Administrative Officer employees moved the lion from Rayburn Building to Broun’s new office in Cannon on Dec. 10, 2008. (CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Long before the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe by a Minneapolis dentist triggered an international outcry over the illegal hunting, one U.S. Congressman confidently bragged about killing — and eating — his own conquests.

It also led us at CQ Roll Call to what former Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., displayed in his congressional office — a lion he killed during a hunt in Zimbabwe!

Full story

July 30, 2015

#tbt Disgraced Member Finds Love After Prison

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As any reader of Roll Call knows, there is life after Congress, but what about life after Congress after prison?

Back in our July 30, 1998, edition, HOH explored the tale of Rep. Carroll Hubbard, D-Ky., who found love after leaving the hoosegow. Full story

July 27, 2015

HOH Word of the Week: Salt

Salt. To mark a memo or document in such a way that if it is leaked to press, the leaker will be identified. Commonly, a document is salted when one word is placed in one person’s copy, a different in the next person’s, and so forth. When it appears in print, the salter will know whose copy is leaked.”

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

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July 9, 2015

Major Owens Throws Shade #tbt

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It was 25 years ago that HOH reported on what was one of the early rap performances by a member of Congress, when Rep. Major Owens, D-N.Y., threw some rhymes toward Rep. William Dannemeyer, R-Calif., for what the Californian said about Nelson Mandela. Full story

July 2, 2015

The GOP Hunger Games

“They’ll have enough for an actual ‘Hunger Games.'”

— President Barack Obama, speaking today in La Crosse, Wis., joking about how many Republicans are running for president.

Click below for the video:

Related:

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June 26, 2015

Harry Reid to Burning Man’s Rescue?

Reid says the BLM should rethink their request about Burning Man. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Reid says the BLM should rethink their request about Burning Man. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., wants the Bureau of Land Management to suck it up when it comes to Burning Man.

Responding to reports in the Reno Gazette-Journal that BLM officials are asking for an estimated $1 million VIP compound for their use during the annual counter-cultural festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, Reid wrote a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, an avid outdoorswoman and former head of REI, saying the BLM needs to get over itself about asking for flushing toilets and other amenities. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 5:37 p.m.
FightingWords

June 12, 2015

Obama’s Beer Was Cold, Yet Not Influential

Obama made a surprise appearance. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Obama made a surprise appearance. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Like any thoughtful guest dropping by unannounced, President Barack Obama brought some homebrews with him when he dropped by the 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

“I’m told he brought some special beverage just to your side,” Rep. Joe L. Barton, the GOP squad’s manager, said at the baseball players’ after party, addressing the victorious Democrats in Nationals Park’s Club Level MVP lounge. “You got to vote for TPA now,” the Texas Republican added. Full story

June 11, 2015

Congressional Baseball Game 2015: Year of the Tiebreaker?

Conte at bat, back in the day. (Mickey Senko/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Conte at bat, back in the day. (Mickey Senko/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The best American traits are represented in baseball, so it’s OK to expect America’s representatives to be at their best playing baseball.

“In all its complementary contradictions, its play of antitheses, baseball captured a continent bounded to east and west by oceans, laced by mountains and rivers, dry, fertile, wet, wooded, and at its heart, or stomach, endlessly flat. America is a topography mythologized by its inhabitants as they crossed and re-crossed it into an image of themselves, diverse, demanding, unified by common acts of consent to a government of themselves, a government consciously checked and balanced, the formal antitheses of the state reflecting and shaping the inclusive ideals and isolationist tendencies of a people receptive and wary,” A. Bartlett Giamatti, the late baseball commissioner, said in a speech 30 years ago to the Massachusetts Historical Society. Giamatti saw baseball, nation and government inextricably linked. Full story

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