Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 2, 2014

Posts in "AwesomeSauce"

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.

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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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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September 29, 2014

Ted Stevens’ Totally Tubular Prediction

The late Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, warned us that this day would come.

 

 

But everyone just laughed at him.

 

Ted Stevens’ Totally Tubular Prediction

(Screenshot)

 

Who’s laughing now, social media-less world?

 

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USGS Gets Its Rocks Off Touting Oktoberfest

Want the dirt on what makes Oktoberfest so special? The United States Geological Survey is pouring it on pretty thick in a recent blog post.

 

USGS Gets Its Rocks Off Touting Oktoberfest

(Screenshot)

 

Larding up the blogosphere with relevant, eyeball-grabbing content is a demanding gig. But, as the U.S. Forest Service recently discovered, hitching one’s public relations wagon to cultural events in today’s hyper-partisan environment can quickly lead one’s messaging wildly off course, as Smokey Bear found out when attempting to dispense some fire-safety/s’mores advice.

For while we here at HOH can appreciate writer Ethan Alpern’s shoutout to the humble hop plant — “Hops plays an important role in the flavor of beer,” he counsels — others might view it as a tacit endorsement of binge drinking.

 

USGS Gets Its Rocks Off Touting Oktoberfest

The proud winner of the Das Best Oktoberfest — held Sep. 27 at the D.C. Armory — “Best Beer Belly” contest. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Full story

September 23, 2014

George Takei Votes for More Gay Babies

In a new public service announcement for Our Time, entertainer/gay rights activist George Takei urges all Americans to stand and up and be counted on Election Day.

He also prods heterosexuals to make more whoopee.

“I’m talking to straight young couples because you are going to be producing the gay babies of tomorrow,” Takei counsels.

The multitalented celeb has become a force to be reckoned with in recent years. He’s the subject of a deeply personal documentary. He’s published books, brought joy to millions on satellite radio, developed a signature fragrance and even fielded offers to practice the art of diplomacy.

Takei’s made his presence known here in Washington as well, weighing in on legislative pals old and new.

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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September 19, 2014

Embracing Politics and Art Is a Milstein Tradition

D.C. denizen Connie Milstein has invested a great deal of time and effort into turning her Georgetown home into a beauty to behold and a wonder to explore.

Embracing Politics and Art Is a Milstein Tradition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The philanthropist and political booster, who played host to Sen. Kirsten Gillbrand, D-N.Y., Monday evening, has an eye for detail that is apparent throughout her carefully appointed domicile.

One gets the feeling that every single element spread throughout has been given incredible consideration, from the mythological beings that silently keep watch over the premises,

Embracing Politics and Art Is a Milstein Tradition
(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

To the sassy seat cushions that encourage self-medication. (“Keep calm and have a cocktail” sounds like sage advice to us.) Full story

September 17, 2014

Chuck Grassley’s Birthday Blizzard

Chuck Grassleys Birthday Blizzard

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Charles E. Grassley plans to put a birthday present to good use to grab himself a Dairy Queen Blizzard, but he hasn’t quite decided on the flavor yet.

“Either Reese’s or Snickers,” the Iowa Republican said Wednesday.

Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., announced during a committee hearing that he and ranking member Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah were giving Grassley the gift certificate to Dairy Queen for his 81st birthday. Grassley is a former chairman and ranking member of the Finance panel.

Grassley’s birthday coincides with Constitution Day, which he highlighted on Twitter by announcing he had completed his annual 6.21-mile birthday run from his D.C. house to the Capitol, dubbed the “Home to the Dome” run. Grassley said his usual run is 3 miles.

Grassley also received birthday greetings from his longtime Iowa colleague, Tom Harkin.

 

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September 16, 2014

Web Firm Shows Democrats Extra Love Behind the Scenes

There are those who suspect that politicians and, by extension, their corresponding messaging operations, will say one thing even if they secretly believe something else entirely.

Not so with Wide Eye Creative, a Web design outfit which champions its clients every bit of the way.

BuzzFeed’s Jeremy Singer-Vine stumbled upon just how deep the site developer’s devotion permeates while sniffing around the back end of Senate hopeful Alison Lundergan Grimes’ campaign page.

 

Web Firm Shows Democrats Extra Love Behind the Scenes

(Screenshot)

 

Those who view the page via its assigned URL would never know about the ASCII love Team WEC tucked into the coding language — because it’s not meant for them.

“Just a nice little easter egg for anyone who looks at the code,” WEC creative director Ben Ostrower said of the digital valentine inserted into a jumble of characters that give the Web meaning.

According to Ostrower, WEC began seeding its political sites with similar signatures about a year ago. Full story

September 15, 2014

Montana State Society to Spike Mendelsohn: Que Cojones

Montana State Society President Jayne Leffingwell wants hospitality heavy Spike Mendelsohn to man up and get his own thing going.

Montana State Society to Spike Mendelsohn: Que Cojones

(Screenshot)

“Mendelsohn aka the Ballburglar, is attempting to hijack The Montana State Society’s signature event ‘The DC Testy Fest’ by hosting his own DC Festicle. While a testivus for the rest of us sounds fun, stealing our original sack lunch is not ‘Good Stuff,’” Leffingwell said in a tongue-in-cheek statement.

The Montana State Society has done its part to exalt the nether regions-related nosh for more than  a decade now. Mendelsohn is jumping into the fray on Sept. 21 with the unveiling of Spiked Events’ debut soiree, a come-as-you-are affair featuring live music, micro wrestling, circus performers and culinary cook-offs.

Per Festicle promotional materials, Mendelsohn is expected to face off against fellow toques Erik Bruner-Yang, of Toki Underground fame, and Tim Ma, the driving force behind Maple Ave and the newish Water & Wall, in a “Top Chef-style” competition where the contestants will have to conjure up some tasty from the featured testes.

And that just rubs Leffingwell raw.

“With more than 750+ attendees going nuts and consuming nearly 200 lbs of testicles this year, we like to consider ourselves the reigning rocky mountain oyster aficionados,” she maintained.

“The ball is in your court Mr. Mendelsohn. We’ll see how you measure up,” Leffingwell said.

 

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Rock On, Rockland

Rock On, Rockland

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

ROCKLAND, Maine – It may be a small town, but Rockland’s got a lot going for it.

The Maine Lobster Festival drives droves of shellfish lovers to the shores of the Penobscot Bay each August, the plastic bib-draped masses assembling to honor (and devour) the region’s claim to fame.

Bumping into newsmakers is evidently not uncommon. One New Yorker, who relocated to the area with his wife after their youngest flew the coop, said he catches sight of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. from time to time in neighboring St. George.

“He’s totally normal up here. Doesn’t like anyone to call him judge,” the Empire State expat said of his dealings with the summering Supreme Courter.

Natives, it would seem, have very specific tastes when it comes to conducting their day-to-day affairs.

Core concerns include keeping:

Activities al fresco (topless freecycling, anyone?)

 

Rock On, Rockland

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Rock On, Rockland

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Full story

September 12, 2014

Designer Flips Gillibrand Gaffe Into Local Fundraiser

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., has provided some cover for colleague Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who offended local residents by demeaning a suburban enclave that wasn’t quite to her liking, via a custom made T-shirt.

Designer Flips Gillibrand Gaffe Into Local Fundraiser

(Courtesy Mark Warner)

Gillibrand got called on the carpet after ARLnow.com founder Scott Brodbeck uncovered the less-than-flattering description she provided of Arlington, Va., in her new book, “Off The Sidelines.”

Warner wrapped his head around the conundrum and came up with a unique solution: novelty wear. He presented Gillibrand with the specially-ordered shirt and made light of the turf war on Twitter.

Whether the community at large is ready to forgive Gillibrand remains to be seen.

But T-shirt creator CustomInk is betting there’s enough civic pride floating around at the moment to turn this negative into a net positive.

The designer has launched a fundraising campaign putting copycat T-shirts up for grabs at $20 a pop. The goal is to raise approximately $1,000 (organizers are requesting an initial run of at least 50 orders), with the collected funds flowing through to the Arlington Food Assistance Center. Full story

September 11, 2014

Jeff Flake, Martin Heinrich Spearhead New Reality Show

While the rest of us spent the August recess basking in the unseasonably cool temperatures that made summer in D.C. somewhat livable, Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., sneaked away to an uninhabited island in the South Pacific to find some common ground for a TV special dubbed, “Rival Survival.”

Jeff Flake, Martin Heinrich Spearhead New Reality Show

(Courtesy Discovery Communications)

The one-hour episode, which chronicles the political odd couple’s attempts to keep each other alive during a one-week stint on Eru, one of the unforgiving rocks that make up the Marshall Islands, is scheduled to air Oct. 29 at 10 p.m. on the Discovery Channel.

According to a Discovery Channel aide, the pols actually pitched the show to the cable network, citing a desire to prove that people in Washington can work together — particularly when push comes to shove.

“Both of us know just how frustrated people are with Washington right now. We can both attest that no one is more frustrated than those of us trying to get things done in this environment. We recognize how difficult it can be to cut through the partisanship,” the duo relayed in a joint statement. “So we decided to do something completely out of the ordinary and frankly a little extreme to show the world and our colleagues that even if you have serious differences, if you want to survive you have to work together. ” Full story

September 4, 2014

Postpone Your ‘Recess Can’t Be Over!’ Malaise at BLT Steak

Not quite ready for Congress to return to work (someone put 12 legislative days on the clock, please) next week? Local toque Jeremy Shelton sure is.

The executive chef at BLT Steak (1625 I St. NW) has been cranking out a number of recess treats for bargoers during the past month, a specialty carte — each item priced at $10 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. — that will (mostly) be retired come Monday.

“We have two menus every night plus happy hour as it is, now throw in 10 brand new dishes every time Congress goes into recess … It’s just a lot to keep track of,” Shelton said of the extra effort that’s been required to keep the seasonal snacks (he rolled out a similar slate when lawmakers decamped for spring break) a-coming.

Everything is, of course, prefaced by the incredibly fluffy, cheese-laced popovers BLT Steak drops off in front of every guest.

Postpone Your Recess Cant Be Over! Malaise at BLT Steak

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

On the off chance that isn’t enough incentive to darken their door, the expense account haven also butters up patrons with warm, crusty country bread flanked by salty-rich country pate. (Another longstanding tradition, a la the complimentary popovers, that predates Shelton’s tenure in the kitchen.)

The gourmet nibbles Shelton dreamed up this time around ran the gamut from somewhat perplexing (a smoked trout salad was overwhelmed by bitter greens and bracing citrus) to utterly delicious.

The chef said he remains partial to an heirloom tomato number featuring chimichurri as well as rotating pork-powered sammies.

Postpone Your Recess Cant Be Over! Malaise at BLT Steak

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The grilled sausage patties served to us featured savory swine sandwiched between tangy pickled ramp relish and spicy mustard. Though small, the well-dressed burger knock-offs were quite satisfying. Full story

August 21, 2014

Spend the Rest of Recess With ‘The Simpsons’

FXX is effectively hijacking the rest of any animation-lovers’ summer by airing every Simpsons in consecutive order — all 552 episodes plus the 2007 feature film — beginning Thursday at 10 a.m.

Some of you may be wondering what, if anything, can we stand to learn from a cartoon that’s run roughshod over competing sitcoms over the past 25 years?

Plenty.

The award-winning series (30-odd Emmys and counting) has poked fun at politics for decades. And it has typically done so with more wit and charm than its real-life contemporaries.

Some of the shining examples that immediately come to mind include:

Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington (Season 3, Episode 37)

Civic-minded Lisa Simpson learns the awful truth about lobbying in this send-up of Jimmy Stewart’s David vs. Goliath story.

Airing this Friday at 4 a.m.

Two Bad Neighbors (S7, E141)

Spend the Rest of Recess With ‘The Simpsons’

(Screenshot)

Former President George H. W. Bush tangles with oafish dad, Homer Simpson, and born troublemaker, Bart Simpson, in a battle royal on Evergreen Terrace.

Airing Sunday at 8 a.m. Full story

August 19, 2014

Chuck Grassley and the Magical Honeymoon History Tour

Sen. Charles E. Grassley is spending part of the August recess revisiting many of the same natural wonders and tourist traps he and his wife, Barbara, would have swooned over during their original honeymoon.

 

 

The Iowa Republican, who has famously feuded with the History Channel over its lack of focus, appears to be taking one of the most patriotic trips ever.

Due to the fact that he’s being stingy with the roadside imagery (perhaps it’s time to add Instagram to your social media arsenal, senator), HOH has cobbled together an ersatz travelogue so you can follow along with the reminiscing lovebirds.

Badlands National Park

The first stop on the Grassleys’ trip down memory road. Full story

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