Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 8, 2016

Posts by Jonathan Strong

8 Posts

March 14, 2013

A Kildee Comeuppance? Or More Obama Aloofness?

Updated March 15, 6:28 p.m. | Michigan Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee has been in Congress for a little more than two months, and today the leader of the free world gave him a gentle ribbing about just how new he is to Capitol Hill.

At a closed-door meeting between President Barack Obama and House Democrats, Kildee introduced himself as a freshman, to which Obama said, “Wow, you’re really classing up the place then.”

Kildee then proceeded to ask what one person described as a somewhat “long-winded” question about the importance of creating jobs for his economically distraught district.

Full story

February 8, 2013

Colbert Hangs With House Democrats at Their Retreat

LEESBURG, Va. — Comedian Stephen Colbert addressed House Democrats at their retreat here Friday, adding a bit of humor to an agenda dominated by big political fights on Capitol Hill.

Donning his character as a bombastic right-wing pundit, Colbert gave formal remarks and then let his character slip while he was interviewed by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The event ended with a duet of the National Anthem with Colbert and Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Joseph Crowley of New York.

“Republicans’ loss in November has them soul searching … whether or not they have souls,” Colbert cracked, according to notes taken by a person in the room.

He described himself and Pelosi as “frenemies” and vowed his sister would win a congressional seat in South Carolina.

“She’s tough as nails,” Colbert said, adding that he would like to interview her on his trademark “Better Know a District” segments.

“I have a few questions for her from her eighth-grade diary,” he said.

Regarding that interview series, Colbert said he thought Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., was the only lawmaker who had truly embarrassed himself in the zany interviews. Westmoreland “set himself on fire” when he remembered only three of the Ten Commandments he was trying to mandate public placement of,” Colbert said.

February 6, 2013

Cardiologists Claim Congress Has Heart

When Sister to Sister, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing heart disease in women, announced it would be on Capitol Hill on Thursday and on Valentine’s Day to help members and their staff get “heart smart,” it set off a discussion not for the faint of heart.

When a tipster from the American College of Cardiology, which is partnering with Sister to Sister on the event, contacted us, she made quite the splash with her claim that “Members of Congress have hearts, too.”

Being trained skeptics, we followed up. “What evidence do you have that members of Congress have hearts?” we asked.

Stephanie Abraham, spokeswoman for the ACC, didn’t hesitate in making sure we knew the difference between scientific fact and theory.

“Hahahah!! Just a theory … more research needed …” Abraham replied to our query.

Just checking.

This will be Sister to Sister’s 10th annual cardiovascular disease prevention program on Capitol Hill.

December 13, 2012

Who Called Whom a What?

A lawmaker recently removed from his coveted committee assignment and his colleague who offered the most high-profile defense of that decision spoke about the matter on the House floor Thursday.

But the contents of the conversation are in dispute.
Full story

November 19, 2012

Progressives’ Lobbying Campaign Gets Little Notice From Nancy Pelosi

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Whether House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wants to acknowledge it, progressives like Pelosi. They really like her.

Last week, the powerful California lawmaker announced that she was going to stay put atop the House Democratic pyramid for a lot of different reasons. She wanted to get more women in Congress, she said, and overhaul the role of money in politics.

But a desperate, last-minute bid progressives launched to get her to stay was definitely not on her radar screen. In fact, it was so unimportant to her that she claimed twice to be hearing about it for the first time. Full story

September 27, 2012

Grover Norquist Excited About ‘Won’t Back Down’

Grover Norquist: president of Americans for Tax Reform, anti-communism operative, Republican activist, film buff.

In a crowded media environment, Norquist tells HOH that the new movie “Won’t Back Down,” which opens Friday in theaters, has the potential to become a significant part of the 2012 presidential campaign between President Barack Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

“Watch how that plays out,” he says of the Maggie Gyllenhaal/Viola Davis vehicle about fed-up parents taking on the entrenched bureaucracy of their kids’ school.


Full story

September 24, 2012

Artur Davis, ‘Hercules’ Actor Appear Before GOP

Republicans booked some out-of-the-ordinary guests at their internal meetings in the past few days.

Kevin Sorbo, an actor whose Twitter bio says “Yes, the Hercules guy,” was at the GOP’s Conference meeting Thursday. He was perhaps one of a few guests who could have overshadowed Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP’s vice presidential nominee, who also popped by the Conference meeting to fire up the troops.

And former Alabama Rep. Artur Davis, who served as a Democrat but has been mulling a comeback campaign as a Republican, spoke at a Whip meeting Wednesday.
Full story

April 17, 2012

Jeff Neely’s Pacific Adventure

Well after an inspector general began auditing a lavish Las Vegas conference, Jeff Neely, who headed the General Services Administration’s San Francisco office, took his wife on a taxpayer-funded trip to Hawaii, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Neely boasted in a November 2011 email that the trip was a “birfday” gift. (Fiddy must be so proud.) His wife responded positively to the gesture.

“It’s yo birfday … We gonna pawty like iz yo birfday!” she emailed to Neely. “All sounds good. Need to check date line …  Do we fain or lose a day going to Guam? If so we will have to adjust sked.” Full story

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