Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 30, 2015

Posts in "Artsy"

November 17, 2015

‘Stabbing in the Senate’ Focuses on Hill Staffers

'Stabbing in the Senate' is a murder-mystery focused on Capitol Hill. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

‘Stabbing in the Senate’ is a murder-mystery focused on Capitol Hill. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

Capturing the real-life drama of Capitol Hill in fiction can be a daunting task, but Colleen Shogan had an advantage: She’s been there, done that.

Shogan, 40, now the deputy director of the Congressional Research Service, used her time as a Senate staffer as the basis of her debut mystery novel, “Stabbing in the Senate,” the first installment in her Washington Whodunit series. Full story

November 14, 2015

Opera Tenor Channels Young John Lewis in ‘Appomattox’

Ballantine, second from right, plays Lewis during 'Appomattox.' (Courtesy Kennedy Center)

Ballantine, second from right, plays Lewis during ‘Appomattox.’ (Scott Suchman/WNO)

There’s really no other place but the Kennedy Center to launch the premiere of an overhauled version of “Appomattox,” the Philip Glass opera about the end of the Civil War set at the eponymous courthouse.

The opera, which premiered in San Francisco in 2007, underwent a complete transformation after the Supreme Court upended the Voting Rights Act in 2013. Now there’s a new second act set during the Civil Rights era that features a young John Lewis — now the veteran congressman from Georgia.

Full story

November 13, 2015

Chris Van Hollen Honored at Arena Stage

Van Hollen was given the American Voice Award. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Van Hollen was given the American Voice Award. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

At a theater in Southwest Washington Thursday night, Rep. Chris Van Hollen talked about his most recent acting gig.

“Since I sit next to Paul Ryan all day I know all of his lines. So I was invited to be Paul Ryan in the practice debates up in Delaware,” the Maryland Democrat told a group gathered at Arena Stage. “So I spent five days in Delaware. I can tell you, I don’t have the accent down, but I have the lines down.” Full story

September 22, 2015

Worship Your Way During #Popeapalooza


UNITED STATES - September 21: Mike Normile, of Cleveland, Ohio, packs up his cardboard cutout of Pope Francis after offering people the chance to take a picture with it in front of Union Station in Washington, Monday, September 21, 2015. Normile paid $160 for the cutout and plans on coming out every day this week before Pope Francis' visit to Washington. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Pope-mania was on display at Union Station on Monday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 11:45 a.m. | Ridiculously long lines. Highly intrusive security screenings. Terribly limited access.

It’ll be a miracle if we survive Pope Francis’ visit to Capitol Hill.

Luckily, a host of #ThisTown’s finest are offering up myriad ways to commemorate the papal fly-in: Full story

September 18, 2015

Improv Troupe Aims to Milk Political Dysfunction for Laughs

The Theater of Public Policy is bringing its civic-minded brand of comedy to the District for an extended stay during which the performers look forward to having their way with all three branches of government.

“This is not just a show for policy wonks. It’s a gateway for policy newbies,” co-creator and director Tane Danger declares in a promotional video about the group.

The Theater of Public Policy from Kevin McKeever on Vimeo.

Full story

September 9, 2015

The Overlooked Opponents of the Iran Nuclear Deal

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin takes a selfie with a supporter before she speaks at a rally organized by Tea Party Patriots on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, to oppose the Iran nuclear agreement. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin takes a selfie with a supporter before the rally (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The sea of humanity sweltering in front of the Capitol Wednesday appeared to HOH to be less interested in getting an earful from pols — who popped by to rile up the crowd and then quickly retreated to air conditioned offices — than in being heard, once and for all, themselves.

Ron Kirby, a Texas native who keeps a close eye on the federal government from just across the river in Alexandria, Va., told HOH he’d hiked up to the Hill on a 90-something degree day to ensure lawmakers understood his deep-seated reservations about the administration’s proposed deal with Iran. Full story

August 31, 2015

Sticking It to the Man at the Minnesota State Fair

Has politics gone to seed at the Minnesota State Fair?

Travel Channel personality Andrew Zimmern has re-upped his mission to have folks fan out across the fair in search of fun, and while there’s a host of food-related items, there’s also a slot for the political.

Scavenger hunt! 50 things to look for at the @mnstatefair:

And his top priority may just stick in the establishment’s craw. Full story

August 11, 2015

Team Duffy Chronicles Life in the Surreal World

The latest batch of summer interns to assist reality TV vet Rep. Sean P. Duffy have come and gone. But they’ve left behind a video diary of what it’s like to become schooled in the ways of Washington.

An aide to the Wisconsin Republican told HOH the office has long encouraged each crop of unpaid help to come up with creative ways to recruit their ultimate successors. Full story

July 29, 2015

Friends Pour Into Pombo Portrait Unveiling

Sitting lawmakers and onetime House Natural Resources Committee staff returned to their old stomping grounds in Longworth Tuesday to honor former Rep. Richard W. Pombo.


“It’s like old House day!” one enthusiastic supporter who had gathered for the unveiling of Pombo’s official portrait sputtered while snaking through the flood of familiar faces. Full story

Bob Dole, Pet Adoption Ambassador


(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attention: Bob Dole is inviting pet lovers from across the political spectrum to mingle Thursday with homeless critters on the hunt for bipedal companionship. Full story

July 27, 2015

Satirist Sticks It to Prickly Presidents

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

SAN DIEGO — Cartoon Network “Regular Show” writer Patrick Baker once dreamed of running for higher office. He realizes, though, that his reframing of history in “The Presidential Dickerbook” — a satirical examination of the most egregious actions of our all-too-flawed commanders in chief — makes that unlikely.

The fully illustrated guide, which popped onto the scene on July 3 and was on full display here at Comic-Con 2015, takes the measure of each POTUS at his lowest points and ranks them on Baker’s proprietary dickometer. “My mind was [on] how many people died as a result of you being rough,” Baker told HOH about his personal yardstick.

Full story

July 17, 2015

Mark Russell’s ‘Prez’ Hits the Ground Running

SAN DIEGO — What’s a 19-year-old political neophyte to do after getting propelled into the Oval Office by a viral video-obsessed electorate? The short answer is anything and everything satirist Mark Russell can throw at her in his reboot of the civic-minded comic, “Prez.”

(Courtesy DC Comics)

(Courtesy DC Comics)

DC Comics originally toyed with the concept of how an underage POTUS might operate back in 1973 with “Prez: First Teen President;” the short-lived experiment was unceremoniously pulled from spinner racks after just four issues. A lot’s happened since then. Full story

July 14, 2015

Jeb Bush, Scott Walker Comics in the Pipeline

RollCall-On-the-Road-Logo(150x150)SAN DIEGO — Bluewater Productions is doing its best to keep up with the ever-widening field of 2016 presidential hopefuls.

The independent publishing house expects to release its illustrated look at former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush this August.


(Courtesy Bluewater Productions)

(Courtesy Bluewater Productions)

The latest installment in the “Political Power” series appears to focus on Bush’s role in the family business — a tradition that includes former presidents 41 and 43. Full story

July 13, 2015

John Lewis Grooms Next-Generation Activists at Comic-Con (Video)


SAN DIEGO – Rep. John Lewis not only dressed as a revolutionary leader during his second appearance at Comic-Con International, he behaved like one — seizing the opportunity to shape young minds by taking the future firmly in his hands.

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The Georgia Democrat returned to the pop culture smorgasbord on July 11 to promote the second installment of his illustrated biography, “March.” Lewis co-wrote the ongoing series of graphic novels, which chronicle the life-threatening situations he often found himself in throughout the civil rights era, with right-hand man Andrew Aydin.

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The duo has been working for several years now with artist Nate Powell on a trilogy of books detailing Lewis’ ongoing crusade to vanquish inequality, an arduous journey that’s routinely visited pain and suffering upon the 15-term lawmaker’s person but has never succeeded in crushing his spirit.

If anything, it’s made him stronger. Full story

July 12, 2015

Graphic Artist Sparks Impromptu Bernie Sanders Rally at Comic-Con


SAN DIEGO – Could the (fury) road to the White House one day lead through Comic-Con?

Mario Prado, a printing wiz currently smitten with 2016 presidential hopeful Sen. Bernard Sanders, doesn’t see that as such an absurd proposition.

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“Comic-Con attracts a lot of nerds. Nerds are very much on top of politics,” the printing shop owner told CQ Roll Call of his decision to stump for the Vermont independent.

Prado erected an eye-catching depiction of the populist pol facing off against the conservative Koch brothers in a Mad Max-like landscape along a heavily traveled crosswalk just outside the bustling entertainment hub. That, coupled with the fire engine-red T-shirt he wore in support of “Bernie Man” — showing Sanders’ signature shock of white hair replaced by flaming coiffure — drew in passersby, many of whom Prado said were not all that familiar with the veteran pol. Full story

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