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

Posts in "AwesomeSauce"

August 13, 2014

Lisa Murkowski Goes All In on #IceBucketChallenge

Bucket, schmucket.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski just became the daredevil philanthropist to beat after fearlessly plunging into icy Alaskan waters.

“I’m gonna challenge every single member of the United States Senate … Demonstrate your commitment to getting rid of ALS,” the Alaska Republican prodded fellow pols who have yet to participate in the viral fundraising campaign.

Murkowski has been calling attention to ALS for years, spreading the word about the crippling disease both in D.C. and around Alaska.

August 11, 2014

Hackers Jack GPO With Swedish Beats

Is it wrong that we kinda dug the risqué enhancement rogue computer programmers unleashed on the Federal Depository Library Program homepage late last week?

A tipster noticed a disturbance in the Government Printing Office-run force, a rump-shaking hiccup online watchdogs attributed to presumably Polish pranksters operating under the guise of “SoWa BeZ OkA.”

Another cyber-sleuth spotted a similar incursion — same digitized kitty, same Swedish pop soundtrack — executed against the Finnish government.

GPO spokesman Gary Somerset confirmed the FDLP site had been compromised, but assured HOH federal authorities were on it. Full story

‘Drunk History’ Extols Daniel Inouye’s War Record

He may be gone, but the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii, is not forgotten. Not even by the routinely punchy raconteurs who spin their webs on Comedy Central’s “Drunk History.”

The alcohol-fueled civics lessons captured by the show, which has already been renewed for a third season, typically feature tipsy storytellers recounting the exploits of prominent socio-political figures.

For Tuesday’s episode — airing at 10 p.m. — “Drunk History” turns its non-bloodshot eye on the Aloha State.

The saga of Inouye’s nearly life-threatening charge into enemy fire during World War II is sandwiched between segments chronicling British Captain James Cook’s “discovery” of the Hawaiian Islands and the tale of surfing legend Eddie Aikau.

“My favorite part of the story … is that he is the inspiration for [President Barack] Obama,” show co-creator Jeremy Konner said of Inouye’s legacy.

Per Konner, actor Steven Yeun, who after four seasons on “The Walking Dead” must be used to squaring off against bitey antagonists, had to wrestle with an entirely different kind of predator by stepping into the Inouye role.

“She said she’s never seen more rattlesnakes on a set,” Konner said of the professional snake wrangler’s assessment of their mountain side-shoot. (Guess it wasn’t filmed in Hawaii, which does not have rattlesnakes.)

Luckily, Yeun took it all in stride.

‘Drunk History’ Extols Daniel Inouye’s War Record

(Courtesy Drunk History/Comedy Central)

“Turns out, he’s a super funny dude,” Konner said.

No word on what other pols might pop up in future episodes. But Konner strongly suggested we stay tuned.

“I promise you there will be a president involved,” he said. “And there will be stories that invoke D.C. and the government.”

‘To Be Takei’ Documentary Descends on Silver Spring

Whether gracing the silver screen (Mr. Sulu, you have the conn) or cracking wise from behind a touchscreen (Oh Myyy, that’s quite the universe of Facebook fans you’ve assembled), entertainer and political activist George Takei currently strives to live his life out loud.

But that wasn’t always the case.

‘To Be Takei’ Documentary Descends on Silver Spring

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The human rights champion would like to set the record straight about everything he’s experienced to date in the revealing documentary, “To Be Takei.”

Director Jennifer Kroot has been chronicling Takei’s incredible journey — a career trajectory that encompasses his breakthrough role as Hikaru Sulu on the original “Star Trek” as well as wildly successful forays into publishing, satellite radio (serving as guest announcer of the “Howard Stern Show”), social media and musical theater — for the past few years. The finished product, which will be released nationwide on Aug. 22, breezes into town next month for two special screenings (at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 2 and 4) at the AFI Silver Theatre (8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md.). Full story

August 8, 2014

MTV Gives Props to Interior Department’s Instagram (Video)

MTV Gives Props to Interior Departments Instagram (Video)

(Melanie Zanona/CQ Roll Call)

MTV admirably took a break from showcasing teen moms and teen wolves to advertise the Instagram account belonging to the U.S. Interior Department. The only problem? The department was completely in the dark about the commercial, until HOH tipped them off.

“You saw our Instagram on a commercial? We are not running TV ads anywhere in the US to our knowledge. Do you have more info?” the Interior Department tweeted.

The brief commercial — which flashes serene nature shots plucked from Interior’s Instagram account while featuring a soothing, female voice — appears to have been created by MTV, since it ends with the station’s logo in the corner.

“Did you know the US Interior Department has an Instagram account?” the commercial begins. It continues: “So pretty, oh yea, right there, beautiful. Thanks America.”

MTV Gives Props to Interior Departments Instagram (Video)

(Melanie Zanona/CQ Roll Call)

MTV did not return a request for comment on when or why it started airing the commercial and whether there are more advertisements of this nature. (Could a riveting C-SPAN Instagram commercial be next?)

For their part, the Interior Department said it does not plan to make MTV stop the unauthorized use of their Instagram pictures. Although it is unclear how MTV would even benefit from the rather strange commercial, at least the advertisement may have garnered a few more followers for the department’s budding Instagram account.

“We have seen an uptick in followers over the last couple of weeks. In fact, we just passed 304,000 this morning,” said Tim Fullerton, the Interior Department’s digital strategy director. “But we attribute that more to the stunning summer photos we’ve been posting from America’s public lands than anything else.”

July 30, 2014

Seersucker Thursday: Ladies’ Fashion Do’s and Don’ts

Seersucker Thursday: Ladies Fashion Dos and Donts

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After two years, Seersucker Thursday finally returns to the Senate. Back in June, when the House side hosted its own seersucker celebration, HOH ran an item Seersucker Day: Trent Lott’s Fashion Do’s and Don’ts.

Upon reflection, we realized that most of his advice was applicable predominantly to males. We reached out to Lott for female etiquette. But he shied away, referring us to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., one of the players integral to bringing back the tradition. Feinstein declined to give advice, but did issue a statement.

“Seersucker Thursday is a light-hearted tradition that fosters camaraderie, nothing more and nothing less,” Feinstein said. “It’s a brief, bipartisan reprieve from our normal routine.”

So we took the party over to the House side, and conducted a survey of Southern and Southern-ish female representatives of how to best wear seersucker.

Our panel:

  • Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. (Though there’s much debate, we’re counting West Virginia as Southern for this project.)
  • Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla.
  • Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y. (Born and raised in North Carolina.)
  • Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla.
  • Rep. Terri A. Sewell, D-Ala.

Full story

July 29, 2014

Ted Poe Adopts Matt Salmon as a Lone Star Stater (Video)

Rep. Ted Poe has conferred upon Rep. Matt Salmon one of the highest honors his office can help provide: He’s made his fellow Republican lawmaker an honorary Texan.

Ted Poe Adopts Matt Salmon as a Lone Star Stater (Video)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The Texas Republican said Salmon, who serves alongside him on the Foreign Affairs Committee — “We’re personal friends,” Poe said — shares several defining characteristics with native-born Texans. Poe said Salmon values independence. He’s fairly outspoken. And he displays that certain ruggedness required of those who reside in border states.

“I thought it was appropriate to make him an honorary Texan and give him dual citizenship,” Poe said of the surprise distinction for the Arizona Republican.

Full story

Trent Lott: Happiest Man Alive Over Return of Senate Seersucker Day

Trent Lott: Happiest Man Alive Over Return of Senate Seersucker Day

Lott, right, is tickled pink about the return of Seersucker Day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ex-Sen. Trent Lott’s dog days are over.

The man who created Seersucker Day back in the late 1990s has been on a bit of a tear ever since the Senate ditched the tradition two years ago.

But thanks to his pal Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and his successor, Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Senate Seersucker Day is back on Thursday. And it comes just in the nick of time, in the final week of the summer session. ”Seersucker is great!” Lott said in a Monday phone interview with CQ Roll Call. “When it gets above 80 degrees, you need to be thinking seersucker.” Full story

July 23, 2014

Jim Himes Rains on Conspiracy Theorist’s Parade

Rep. Jim Himes unleashed a flood of Twitter rage Wednesday morning after baiting a current events troll with news of his “secret” powers.

The social media implosion occurred shortly after a Twitter user self-identified as Danny Anson (@1Anson1) decided to dig into the Connecticut Democrat’s background and demanded to know about any underlying affiliations.

 

 

“None. But on Tuesdays they do let me control the weather,” Himes quipped when quizzed about his allegiance to surreptitious power brokers.

The taunt clearly fried Anson’s circuits, sparking some 40-odd replies (and counting) that bounce around a bevy of hot-button issues: destabilization of the Middle East, religious persecution, global intelligence gathering, morality, free trade. You name it. Full story

July 22, 2014

Richard Nixon: Cookbook Connoisseur, Fan of Sophie Leavitt’s ‘Penny Pincher’s Cook Book’

While the Washington Post is poised to revel in the 40th anniversary of its administration-toppling Watergate investigation, we here at HOH would prefer to reflect on the positive things President Richard Milhous Nixon brought to the table.

An appreciation of cheap eats, for one.

These days, no one thinks twice about having the White House weigh in on what’s on their plate because first lady Michelle Obama has made it her mission to keep nutrition and healthful dining in the public consciousness. One could argue that Nixon helped plant the seed for sustaining a public discourse on maximizing hard earned food dollars by standing firmly behind author Sophie Leavitt’s “Penny Pincher’s Cook Book.”

Richard Nixon: Cookbook Connoisseur, Fan of Sophie Leavitts Penny Pinchers Cook Book

(CQ Roll Call)

The 1971 book — which this reporter just happened to stumble upon while poking around one of those “take a book, leave a book” bins in Old Town Alexandria — encourages would-be cooks not only to adopt frugality, but to embrace it as a source of inspiration. Full story

July 18, 2014

Rep. Ruiz Assists Passenger During Flight Home

Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., was called into action while flying home Thursday when a young woman a few rows in front of him began having a seizure.

A Ruiz spokesperson confirmed Friday that the former emergency room doctor did assist the woman on his flight. Ruiz checked to make sure her condition was not serious enough to warrant an emergency landing.

According to the Daily Caller, the woman Ruiz helped, Lisa De Pasquale, is a columnist for the conservative Breitbart News and Townhall websites. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee saw fit to send out an In Case You Missed It email with Betsy Rothstein’s DC story.

De Pasquale told HOH that she was “very grateful that Congressman Ruiz was there!” In an email, the scribe related that “I didn’t let on to how scared I was that I didn’t remember anything that happened before, during and immediately after the seizure. He sat and talked to me for the remainder of the flight. We talked about religion and books, and nothing about politics. It was great!”

This was not the first time Ruiz lent a hand during an in-flight medical emergency.

In October, Ruiz was headed to Texas when a passenger collapsed during the flight. Ruiz helped stabilize the passenger and, in that case, the passenger’s condition caused the plane to land in Raleigh, N.C.

Thursday’s incident occurred during the California Democrat’s typical flight home, which stops in Phoenix. Ruiz’s fellow House member, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., was on the flight and witnessed Ruiz assisting the passenger.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated Rep. Sinema’s party.

July 15, 2014

Tammy Duckworth’s Feel Good Regimen

Summer colds suck. Good thing Rep. Tammy Duckworth has a secret weapon for a speedy recovery.

When her hubby fell ill over the weekend, the Illinois Democrat immediately sprung into action, whipping up a batch of her savory cure-all.

“I don’t normally follow a precise recipe — I just keep adding things to taste,” Duckworth said of her never-quite-the-same approach to cooking. The aforementioned pick-me-up prepared for her couch-ridden mate bears many of the familiar ingredients — chicken, mixed vegetables, broth — one’s own parents might have used to soothe away internal ickiness, but also features a few signature touches.

Duckworth’s Chicken Soup

1 heaping tablespoon minced (or finely chopped) garlic; jarred is fine
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups water
1 large whole chicken breast, about 1.5 pounds (Bone-in is better, but boneless is easier to use.)
34-ounce box chicken broth
1 large onion, cut lengthwise into strips
4-5 carrots, chopped
4-5 ribs of celery, cut crosswise into quarter-inch slices
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
2-3 tablespoons light soy sauce (You can use Japanese soy sauce like Kikkoman, but I prefer Chinese style for this soup.)
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
2-3 cups pasta, cooked separately until al dente and drained. Reserve. (I like rotini or shells but any shaped pasta will do.)

Preparation
Sauté the garlic in the olive oil until lightly browned and softened.
Add water and whole chicken breast.
Cover and bring to a low boil for 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove chicken and pull apart into shredded chunks; discard bones. Return meat to boiling liquid.
Add chicken broth, carrots, onions, parsley and celery.
Cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Add soy sauce and sugar one tablespoon at a time to taste. Add more soy to taste, but be careful with the sugar. It can be too much very easily. The sugar just adds a little depth of flavor to the soup, it shouldn’t make the soup taste sweet.
Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired. (I like a little pep in my soup, so I always add the pepper.)
Spoon desired amount of pasta into bowl, top off with as much soup as you like and a little garnish of fresh parsley if desired.
Serve with Ritz crackers on the side.

“I add soy sauce to everything,” Duckworth said of her penchant for the fermented flavor enhancer. The rest of the production is modeled after the soul-satisfying meals she once slurped at a long-since gone eatery. Full story

July 14, 2014

Commune with C.O.W.P.I.E. Saturday Night

Displaced Wyomingites are invited to reconnect with the wonders of the Cowboy State July 19 at the Committee of Wyoming People in the East’s upcoming shin-dig, an annual tradition marked by barbecue, mechanical bull riding and country music.

Commune with C.O.W.P.I.E. Saturday Night

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The 37 annual C.O.W.P.I.E., which is scheduled to stampede into Eastern Market’s North Hall, kicks off with a members-only cookout (organizers bring in burgers and sides for their core constituency) before throwing open the doors to the general public at 8 p.m. Tickets are available in advance (through July 17) for $35, whereas those who wait until the day of must either shell out $25 for general admission (no alcohol) or $50 to booze it up.

“Only snacks are available after 8 p.m., but the beer and Jack [Daniels] will be flowing all night,” an event coordinator told HOH of what folks should expect to find at the Western-themed soiree.

Attendees are encouraged to break out their snazziest frontier wear, be it highly polished calfskin boots, wide-brimmed chapeaus or bright shiny belt buckles.

Desperate to wear your chaps out in public to an actually appropriate situation?

Allow the motorized bucking beast to make all your wildest dreams come true.

“We give out a Cheyenne Frontier Days belt buckle to the winner of our competition each year, and that always leads to some pretty impressive talent,” one organizer shared.

June 30, 2014

Franken Feasts on Minnesota State Fair Menu Items (Video)

The eating extravaganza that is the Minnesota State Fair may still be months away, but Sen. Al Franken is already beating the drum about the heart-stopping offerings that attendees will encounter along the midway later this summer.

 

 

The fair, which is scheduled to wreak havoc on Midwestern waistlines from Aug. 21 until Sept. 1, is expected to field more than two dozen new foodstuffs. Those debut taste sensations run the gamut from moderately healthy (all-natural, frozen fruit smoothie pop, anyone?) to downright deadly (breakfast Juicy Lucys forged from twin, cheese-stuffed sausage patties piled high on an English muffin).

Last year, the Minnesota Democrat bowed to his constituents’ wishes and sampled an order of fried pickles accompanied by chocolate dipping sauce:

According to a spokeswoman, Franken is excited to sink his teeth into a Bison Dog (hickory-smoked, pasture-raised buffalo link smothered in pickles and peppers). The adventurous aide, meanwhile, said she was looking forward to experiencing the “chicken in a waffle” creation. Full story

June 27, 2014

HOH Condolences for Fellow Gossip Columnist Diana McLellan, AKA ‘The Ear’

 

HOH Condolences for Fellow Gossip Columnist Diana McLellan, AKA The Ear

(Jason DIck/CQ Roll Call)

HOH was saddened to learn of the death of a fellow traveller, Diana McLellan, aka “The Ear.”

McLellan worked at the Washington Star, Washington Post and the Washington Times before hanging up the gossip gig. According to the Washington Post’s Adam Bernstein, her column “became a puckish, first-read chronicle of social news and intrigue in the 1970s and ’80s.”

Reading over my own copy of “Ear on Washington,” a collection from her Post columns published in 1982, McLellan’s prose still rings pretty fresh:

“You must not imagine that Washington manners are like manners anywhere else in the world.

“In other capitals, you can content yourself upon meeting your sparkling new circle of friends with a simple, ‘How do you do?’ Then you’re on your own. You must gauge your new acquaintance via a series of elaborate computations: humor, accent, clothing, grammar, jewelry, fingernails, shoes, haircut, tie pattern, sock length, allusions, wallet and interests will combine to give you a general picture: would you like to know this person better?

“In Washington, it’s much easier. The salutation is not ‘How do you do?’ It is ‘What do you do?’

“Foreigners are embarrassed by this. They make up funny answers: ‘I am an anchovy curler at the British Embassy’ ‘I am the Vice-President’s taster.’ ‘I stick the little worm in bottles of Mexican booze.’

“Washington is not amused. It cares deeply what you do. That is how it knows whether or not it wants to know you better.”

She’ll be missed.

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