Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 28, 2014

Posts in "AwesomeSauce"

November 17, 2014

Boehner’s Birthday Stirs Up the Sentimental (Updated)

Boehner’s Birthday Stirs Up the Sentimental (Updated)

(Courtesy Michael Steel)

Updated 5:30 p.m. | Speaker John A. Boehner cracked the old 6-5 on Monday, a milestone event that did not go unnoticed by colleagues real and imagined.

In a Facebook post, he touted celebrating with staff and a gavel-shaped cake.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi leaped at the opportunity to give the Ohio Republican the business, tweeting out a pithy greeting to the latest lawmaker to tumble into the social safety net.

“Welcome to Medicare and Social Security!” the California Democrat ribbed her cross-aisle rival.

“House of Cards” antihero Francis J. Underwood showed Boehner some social media love as well, pouring every bit of his famously sunny disposition into the online missive.

“Hope you’re enjoying the beautiful DC weather,” the faux pol relayed on a wet, overcast beginning to another lame-duck workweek.

The gray skies were not, however, expected to dampen the spirits of the Boehnerland faithful. A House leadership aide confirmed that staff would be celebrating as per usual: with a Thanksgiving-style luncheon.

And even though he didn’t make the bird this year (he’s cooked in the past), staff is expected to serenade him with his signature birthday song.

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November 6, 2014

Barbara Lee Delivers Her Own Wave

Yes, yes, the Republicans have decisively taken over both chambers of Congress for the first time in nearly a decade.

But what’s that trivial feat got to do with the 40 seconds of awkward arm flapping California Democrat Barbara Lee endured on Wednesday’s episode of “The Colbert Report”?

The faux pundit, who is expected to bury his conservative-leaning cable news persona next month in preparation for assuming hosting duties of CBS’s “Late Show,” set up the face-to-face fanning duel (starts at the 3-minute mark) by noting during the latest installment of the pol-baiting “Better Know a District” segment that the signature sports move originated at the Oakland Coliseum.

According to ESPN, the first recorded version of the stadium-wide salute took place on Oct. 15, 1981, during a playoff game between the Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees.

So Lee’s district’s got that going for it. As well as a congresswoman who’s not afraid to rise and fall with the best of ’em.

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Politics and Prose, Busboys and Poets on Same Page About Expanding Readership

The independent D.C bookstore no serious author — lawmakers included — can ignore and the socially conscious meeting place fostered by political activist Andy Shallal are coming together to help venerate the written word.

According to a joint statement, the partnership between literary haunt Politics & Prose and hospitality haven Busboys and Poets will take flight next month, with the debut of the newest B&P location in Brookland.

“Politics and Prose epitomizes the greatness and reach of independent bookstores, and we are thrilled that they will partner with us to continue in our tradition of offering multicultural books that represent the diversity of Washington DC,” Shallal touted in a release.

Bradley Graham and Lissa Muscatine, the husband and wife team behind P&P, are expected to take the lead on the forthcoming restaurant’s companion retail operation, and are scheduled to follow suit by putting their stamp on the bookselling component of the B&P slated to open in Takoma Park this January.

“We’re especially grateful to Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal for suggesting this venture and for believing in the power of books to enliven, educate, and enrich our community,” Graham and Muscatine stated online.

P&P currently serves as a second home for lawmakers, past and present, with captivating stories to tell. Once the integration wraps in 2015 — P&P is scheduled to assume control of the pre-existing book nooks at the B&P outposts in Mount Vernon Triangle; Hyattsville, Md.; and Shirlington, Va. — Graham and Muscatine will have a half-dozen spaces at which to welcome wordsmiths with something to say.

According to The Washington Post, the nonprofit Teaching for Change will continue to operate the bookstore at the flagship Busboys and Poets and 14th and V streets NW.

“We see great synergy in this new initiative and believe that working with Busboys will enable P&P to make books and authors more available throughout the metro region,” Graham and Muscatine assured local readers.

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October 31, 2014

Jim Moran Recounts Raucous Bipartisan Brawl

Cheers to Matt Laslo for getting retiring Rep. James P. Moran to open up about how incensed pols used to settle their differences in #ThisTown.

Jim Moran Recounts Raucous Bipartisan Brawl

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

During a recent sit-down with “Bills and Brews,” the Northern Virginia Democrat shared his take on what transpired after he and former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, R-Calif., got into it on the House floor.

Per Moran, fellow short-timer George Miller, D-Calif., and ex-Reps. David R. Obey, D-Wis., and Robert K. Dornan, R-Calif., all mixed it up in the ensuing scuffle.

Cunningham, who Moran said suffered a broken hand during the melee, remembered things much differently. “He sucker-punched me,” the then-lawmaker told the Los Angeles Times in late 1995.

No word on whether Cunningham fared any better in the prison yard during his time away.

Catch the whole harrowing tale — as well as Moran’s valedictory address on party politics and D.C. schools — here.

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George Clinton Up to Get Down With D.C. This Weekend

George Clinton Up to Get Down With D.C. This Weekend

Dr. Funkenstein’s in the house. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images Entertainment File Photo)

Singer, bandleader and newly minted author George Clinton is scheduled to crisscross Chocolate City over the next few days, starting with an under-the-radar trip to the Library of Congress.

As part of the ongoing celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act, various professional organizations — including members of the Library of Congress Chapter of Blacks in Government, the African American Cultural Association, the American Folklife Center at the LOC and the Music Division at the LOC — have invited the Godfather of Funk to chat about his book, “Brothers Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You?” and decades-long musical career.

“Since this program is a sponsored by staff organizations, we have not advertised to the public. However, public wishing to attend the program will not be turned away,” LCBIG President Michele Chisholm assured HOH.

Dr. Funkenstein is expected on stage of the Coolidge Auditorium of the Thomas Jefferson Building from noon to 1 p.m. Per organizers, “House of Soul” host James Funk will interview him for a bit before bowing out so folks can line up for autographs. Full story

October 22, 2014

Senate Chihuahua Digs Cannon Rover

According to the animal rescuer in the office of Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va., who tended to the stray dog that popped by unannounced, its owner swooped by to scoop it up shortly thereafter.

The visit may have been short-lived. But the well-bundled mutt caused enough of a stir that an admirer surfaced on the other side of the Capitol.

Senate Chihuahua Digs Cannon Rover

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

“My 5-lb Chihuahua, named Sassy, thinks he’s kinda cute and wants to know if he’s seeing anyone…?” a Senate Democrat aide quizzed HOH after learning about the wandering rascal.

Per Sassy’s mom, her pint-sized pooch’s turn-ons include fashionable males (“Bonus points for this one, as he’s clearly well-groomed and knows how rock a stylish sweater!”) and romps in the park (who doesn’t?). Full story

October 20, 2014

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 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

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 8, 2014

Steve King Embraces Twitter Hate

Rep. Steve King doesn’t appear to be the least bit fazed by all the rhetorical jabs thrown at him on social media.

Steve King Embraces Twitter Hate

(Screenshot)

If anything, the cyber-sparring seems to tickle his funny bone.

The Iowa Republican recently engaged in a little self-deprecating exercise his re-election campaign has dubbed “King Mean Tweets” — an ego gut-check originally developed by late-night host Jimmy Kimmel.

“I enjoy their colorful nature,” King told HOH about the staff-selected taunts he and his wife, Marilyn, scrolled through during the inaugural video segment.

Capitol Hill got its first taste of mean tweets mania this spring, after Now This News convinced a handful of sitting pols to face the online firing squad. Full story

October 7, 2014

Jimmy Kimmel Gets a Read on Joe Biden

It’s no wonder Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. feels like he’s been reduced to a living, breathing punchline.

According to a handful of Californians, the man who is currently a heartbeat away from becoming commander in chief could just as easily be mistaken for a Republican, a terrorist or a supporting character from “Pineapple Express.”

Jimmy Kimmel Gets a Read on Joe Biden

(Screenshot)

Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel uncovered the utter lack of name recognition that dogs the VPOTUS by posing a simple question to Los Angelenos: Who is Joe Biden?

“He’s like the assistant president, or something,” was the best this civics-challenged sample of the population could come up with.

Biden is out west raising money for the party, and is expected to roam around the city later today.

To wit, if L.A. wants to get to know the ′Vette-loving Delawarean a little better, somebody ought to open up a Capriotti’s ASAP.

Related Stories:

 

Official Transcript of Biden Event Excludes ‘Bitch’ Quip

 

Congress, Motivated by Joe Biden

Biden Stumps For Capriotti’s Subs

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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October 2, 2014

Overheard: Being Biden Is a ‘Bitch’? (Video)

Overheard: Being Biden Is a Bitch? (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Minutes after repeating his familiar warning that sometimes he does not know when to stop saying all that he means, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. let out quite a quip at Harvard’s Institute of Politics Thursday night.

When a questioner identified himself as the vice president of the Harvard student body, Biden chimed in, “isn’t it a bitch, I mean … that vice president thing?”

Full story

D.C. Watering Holes Embrace MLB Pennant Race

We’re still weeks away from knowing if #ThisTown could serve as the backdrop for a fabled “Beltway Series.”

D.C. Watering Holes Embrace MLB Pennant Race

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

But now that the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles have earned their way into postseason play, local bars are gearing up for a very exciting weekend.

Thursday

Game 1 of the best-of-five series between the Baltimore Orioles and the Detroit Tigers: 5:30 p.m.

The Pug (1234 H St. NE)

The Atlas District mainstay has been doling out ballpark favorites such as peanuts, Cracker Jack and free hot dogs (!) for at least a week now.

 

 

Per Twitter, that generosity seems likely to continue while D.C. and Charm City remain on the hunt.

Reliable Source (National Press Club)

Fellow hacks can unabashedly root, root, root for Peter Angelos’ team within the comfort of the Truman Lounge. Flying Dog Lagers and D.C. Brau Pale Ales for $5 should ease the sting of not being in Camden Yards.

Now if only the NPC had an in with Boog’s BBQ … Full story

October 1, 2014

Hi-Ya, Jim McDermott!

Glad to see Rep. Jim McDermott is all warmed up for the new Bruce Lee exhibit coming soon to the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience in Seattle.

 

 

The multimedia retrospective, which is projected to run from this Friday (VIP preview kicks off at 3:15 pm) until at least November 1, is expected to feature martial arts demonstrations, examinations of Lee’s personal poetry writings, and, of course, screenings of his ridiculously fun film roles.

 

 

The Washington Democrat’s pro-Lee plug, as first reported by CNN, is the latest entry on his mostly work-related Vine account. But this contribution marks the first time the Washington Democrat has donned a costume (from Lee’s closet in “Game of Death” and paid homage to by Quentin Tarantino in “Kill Bill, Vol. I” with The Bride’s duds) to get the word out about anything.

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September 30, 2014

Navigating the New Orleans Tummy

NEW ORLEANS — Attention political professionals, journalists and anyone else traveling beyond the Beltway this election season: When in doubt, eat where the district director suggests.

In the case of the Crescent City, even a frequent visitor would benefit from the advice of Enix Smith, district director for Louisiana Democratic Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, who dished on his go-to plates.

Among the best sampled from Smith’s list was food far from the madding crowd: fried chicken wings at Manchu. A purple block building across from the I-10 overpass in Treme, Manchu’s signage states: “Food Store PH 947-5507 Chinese Food Beer Groceries Liquor Po Boys Sea Food Plates American Food Fried Chicken Wings.” It’s a place easy to drive past. Don’t be fooled.

Navigating the New Orleans Tummy

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

The wings were a delight and a deal: Crispy, flaky batter surrounding manageably sized snacks. Unpretentious, tasty and cheap. Digging a little deeper into the food world revealed a shout-out for Manchu from “Eat Dat,” a recent book by Michael Murphy. The author assembles a panel of city food judges to rank dishes, restaurants and experiences and invites the reader to compare his picks to theirs. Under “Where to Get The Best Fried Chicken,” Manchu ranked at No. 7, in close company with esteemed establishments Dooky Chase’s and Willa Mae’s Scotch House.

Navigating the New Orleans Tummy

(Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Another highlight? Charbroiled oysters from Drago’s, a combination of flame-broiled oysters with an industrial-sized portion of Parmesan cheese, butter, garlic and parsley. It’s a unique, incredible mouthful.

Navigating the New Orleans Tummy

Alas, only so many meals can fit in a day. The rest of Smith’s list casts a wide net, and includes way-off-the-beaten path gems such as Castnet Seafood’s sausage on a bun. So those of you covering the Senate race down there, or working it, don’t be afraid to venture beyond Café du Monde and Commander’s Palace. In Richmond’s words, “When folks come to visit our city they definitely do not leave hungry.”

 

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