Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 20, 2014

Posts in "Books"

November 6, 2014

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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November 4, 2014

In the Trenches With Jake Tapper: Election Overload Edition

It’s Election Day 2014!

Which means its like Chrismukkah for political reporters who’ve spent several weeks/months/years weathering the avalanche of numbing campaign emails, soldiering through awkward interviews with combative candidates and crisscrossed countless counties to pick potential voters’ brains about what they want from their elected leaders.

Jake Tapper, a one-time Roll Call cartoonist turned host of CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” has been in the thick of things seemingly forever.

In the Trenches With Jake Tapper: Election Overload Edition

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the countdown on to another marathon session of gorging on real-time voting returns, HOH quizzed Tapper about the good, the bad and the ugly of midterm mania.

HOH: Most compelling race(s) on your radar?

JT: Too many to count, but if I had to pick three Senate races that I’m really watching intensely, they are Colorado, Iowa, Kansas and North Carolina. OK, that’s four. And Wisconsin and Florida for governor. But honestly, it’s not fair asking political junkies to pick faves with so many good ones to pick from!

HOH: Satellite location you would have enjoyed covering?

JT: Florida, because if the winner has a margin of victory of 0.5 percent or less — which looks to be entirely possible — it goes to an automatic recount. And last time that happened I ended up all but a resident of Tallahassee for more than a month. So in addition to covering an intense race and getting a jump on the recount story, I would have squatters’ rights on a hotel room. (Anyone who lived through that knows the importance — especially for the FSU-Florida game weekend.)

Full story

November 3, 2014

Newt, Electing for Some Downtime

With just hours to go until the Election Day buzzsaw officially rips apart half the nation’s hopes and dreams, candidates are hustling to sew up every last possible vote any which way they can.

Louisiana Republican Bill Cassidy, who is hoping to unseat Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., in what’s likely to be a down-to-the-wire challenge, was pounding the pavement in search of support.

 

 

Full story

October 31, 2014

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 15, 2014

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 7, 2014

Kirsten Gillibrand’s Book Tour in Political Territory

Kirsten Gillibrands Book Tour in Political Territory

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Andrea Mitchell, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Connie Britton, Gloria Steinem and Sen. Cory Booker. These are some of the folks Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has hung out with as part of the publicity tour for her book, “Off the Sidelines: Raise your Voice, Change the World.”

Since the book’s Sept. 9 launch in Manhattan, the New York Democrat has gone coast to coast this political season, touching down to talk about her political memoir, often side by side with a compatriot who embodies the book’s message for women to get involved in public life.

Full story

October 6, 2014

Pols Give It Up for ‘Gone Girl’

Suspense lovers weren’t the only ones desperately waiting for auteur David Fincher’s treatment of author Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” to grace the silver screen. Solons and civic leaders couldn’t be prouder of the film.

The buzzy Ben Affleck-led thriller — based on the 2012 beach read about one of the most disastrous couplings of all time — separated fans of doomed marriages from $38 million in discretionary income this past weekend.

Ticket sales are, of course, paramount to Hollywood.

But the powers that be here in Washington, D.C., and down in Cape Girardeau, Mo., where parts of the film were shot, are much more interested in the attention that comes with being associated with a highly anticipated feature.

“I am super excited that ‘Gone Girl’ was filmed in my congressional district,” Missouri Republican Jason Smith told HOH. “I hope that when people see the film, and how beautiful, unique, and historic the city is, they will come to Cape to see it in person.”

City officials are attempting to capitalize on this fortuitous close-up by cobbling together a self-guided driving tour spotlighting different filming locations. Full story

September 29, 2014

Manufacturing Lobby Fetes ‘Factory Man’ Scribe

Business leaders plan to raise a glass Friday to journalist-turned-author Beth Macy in recognition of her work on “Factory Man,” the Tom Hanks-endorsed, anti-globalization success story.

 

Manufacturing Lobby Fetes Factory Man Scribe

(Screenshot)

 

In an environment wherein lawmakers continue wrestling with corporate inversions and the staggering flight of industrial jobs, Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Chairman John D. Bassett III stands as a testament to the resilience of the American worker.

 

 

“You people have proven that we can compete — and defeat — any competitor in any country in the world,” Vaughan-Bassett Furniture President and CEO Wyatt Bassett congratulated his employees in January 2012, after John helped revitalize the family business and surrounding city of Galax, Va., with a fresh infusion of cash and renewed stream of consumer demand. Full story

September 16, 2014

Female Senators Work as a Team, Gillibrand Assures Supporters

If there’s one thing Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has come to appreciate about working on Capitol Hill (there’s gotta be something good about #ThisTown, right?), it’s the collaborative environment she and the other 19 female senators have joined forces to foster.

Female Senators Work as a Team, Gillibrand Assures Supporters

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“We cheer each other on,” the New York Democrat told well-wishers at a D.C. book party about the camaraderie the female pols have developed in their respective chamber.

“We don’t agree on everything. But we often want to find the common ground, because we want to get things done,” she explained to HOH. “And that makes a huge difference.”

Gillbrand trumpeted the workplace sisterhood during remarks she gave at a cocktail party in honor of her new book, “Off the Sidelines.” Political activist Connie Milstein, someone Gillibrand has apparently come to count on, opened up her fabulous art-filled home for the event.

“I’m just grateful for every bit of generosity you’ve ever extended,” Gillibrand thanked the beaming host. Full story

September 15, 2014

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 10, 2014

Arlingtonians Come Off the Sidelines to Pile On Kirsten Gillbrand

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand appears to have made enemies out of former neighbors after bemoaning the time she spent in Arlington, Va., in her road map to female empowerment, “Off the Sidelines.”

The New York Democrat got red in the face after a slew of purple staters caught wind that she’d badmouthed their neck of the woods.

 

 

ARLnow.com touched off the original firestorm by pointing out that the rising lawmaker described the Northern Virginia enclave as a “soulless suburb” — from which she apparently fled to the welcoming arms of Capitol Hill — in her book.

Some critics fought fire with fire (the “I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I” camp).

 

Arlingtonians Come Off the Sidelines to Pile On Kirsten Gillbrand

(Screenshot)

 

Full story

September 8, 2014

Mickey Edwards Says Laws, Not Lawmakers to Blame for Congressional Morass

Mickey Edwards Says Laws, Not Lawmakers to Blame for Congressional Morass

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ex-Rep. Mickey Edwards, R-Okla., hates to break it to everyone, but our horribly paralyzed, results-challenged Congress is, sadly, performing just about right, given current law.

“The Congress is working exactly the way it was designed … and it shouldn’t be,” the now-Aspen Institute scholar said of the tragically flawed electoral system that has thrust lawmakers into a battle royal-like existence.

On Tuesday night, Edwards is expected to share his sobering analysis of how individual states have set up Capitol Hill to fail with attendees of Morven Park’s “Distinguished Voices in Civics” series. He told HOH the dysfunction plaguing modern politics flows from exclusionary primaries and widespread gerrymandering.

“People are trying to figure out, ‘How we do we get out of this mess?’ My argument is: It’s not the people. It’s systemic,” he said of election laws that, rather than rewarding candidates with mass appeal, benefit those “reflective of what the partisans in their states want.” Full story

August 27, 2014

John Lewis, James Clyburn to Represent Congress at National Book Festival

John Lewis, James Clyburn to Represent Congress at National Book Festival

Clyburn, left, and Lewis, center, will represent Congress at the National Book Festival. (CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

 

The National Book Festival will feature not just one but two members of Congress for its 2014 gathering, which kicks off Saturday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown D.C. — Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga., and James E. Clyburn, D-S.C.

Lewis, who’s been on a tear the last year for his graphic novel “March: Book One,” a collaboration with his aide Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell about his formative years as a child leading to the civil rights icon’s political awakening, will discuss his work on Saturday from 12:45 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. as part of the Contemporary Life program. He’ll sign books available for purchase from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

John Lewis, James Clyburn to Represent Congress at National Book Festival

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Clyburn will discuss his memoir, “Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black” earlier on Saturday as part of the Contemporary Life program, from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., and will sign books from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

By Jason Dick Posted at 4:16 p.m.
Books, Reps

August 18, 2014

John Lewis Gets Ballsier for ‘March: Book Two’

It’s good to know Rep. John Lewis can look back on all the awfulness he experienced as a youth and laugh about it now.

According to Nate Powell, the artist who has teamed up with the Georgia Democrat to help keep alive the revolutionary spirit that changed the state of race relations during the turbulent 1960s via a series of graphic novels, humor remains one of the greatest tools in the non-violent activist’s toolbox.

“Another day, another joke about nutsacks and revolution at Parchman Farm prison, 1961,” Powell shared with the Twitterverse while revealing a rough sketch of a panel from the second installment of Lewis’ incredible life story.

The septuagenarian lawmaker skipped Comic-Con this time around (Powell and co-author/congressional aide Andrew Aydin, made the trip), but is expected to return next summer with continuing saga in hand.

Related:

John Lewis Readies ‘March: Book Two’ for 2015

John Lewis Staffer’s Winding Road to Comic-Con

Who You Gonna Call? John Lewis!

Rep. John Lewis’ ‘March’ Nominated for Will Eisner Award

‘March’ Got John Lewis All Choked Up

Comics Vets Rally Around John Lewis

August 11, 2014

‘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

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