Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
January 27, 2015

Posts in "Celebs"

January 26, 2015

House Staffer Keeps ‘Em Guessing on ‘Jeopardy!’

House Staffer Keeps Em Guessing on Jeopardy!

(Courtesy Will Anderson)

Quiz show junkie and Capitol Hill staffer Will Anderson raked in more than $23,000 in winnings and garnered comparisons to defending Super Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson for engineering an astonishing, come-from-behind victory during his three-day run on “Jeopardy!” What else would you expect from a trivia buff who claims his mother still has home movies of him blurting answers out at the TV while growing up? Full story

January 23, 2015

Political Aides Pounce on Whatever-gate

Seizing on an opponent’s latest shortcoming is the currency of the communication director’s realm. But in an age when cleverly crafted GIFs or shade-throwing listicles grab more eyeballs than immediately deleted, boilerplate email blasts, it pays to have one’s digital way with the news of the day.

Someone in the office of Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind., recently did just that, juxtaposing the New England Patriot’s ballsy brushoff of #DeflateGate with head-scratching comments delivered by administration officials.

Political Aides Pounce on Whatever gate

(Screenshot)

The eight-question “quiz” is all about celebrating foot-in-mouth disease — a relatively common condition here on Capitol Hill. Full story

January 20, 2015

OK Go Aims to Help Drone Lobby Take Off

Is your office abuzz about unmanned aircraft systems? Allow OK Go to set your mind at ease about making the most of miniature flying contraptions during a pro-drone tutorial at the 9:30 Club (815 V St. NW).

Those interested in the eye-in-the-sky movement are welcome Wednesday to participate in the “Know Before You Fly” campaign’s star-studded rollout. The program is scheduled to feature a 90-minute presentation, followed by a mini-concert by OK Go — which utilized drones to capture the action channeled into the music video for its song, “I Won’t Let You Down.”

Full story

January 14, 2015

‘Spare Parts’ Perfectly Sums Up DREAM Act, Durbin Says

‘Spare Parts’ Perfectly Sums Up DREAM Act, Durbin Says

Durbin watches “Spare Parts” at the E Street Cinema Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

An uplifting film about four scrappy, Mexican teens who turned the tables on fate by winning a prestigious robotics design competition underscores the exact opportunities Sen. Richard J. Durbin has fought to provide for undocumented immigrants over the past decade, according to the Illinois Democrat.

The movie, “Spare Parts,” chronicles the mind-blowing journey Oscar Vazquez and his high school pals — a rag-tag group of grossly underfunded, would-be engineers — experienced after taking it upon themselves to enter a NASA-sponsored contest to build an underwater rover. Full story

January 12, 2015

The Band Perry Ready to Rock Congress

Lawmakers and staff craving Southern fried melodies Tuesday can feast their ears on the mini-show The Band Perry is expected to put on in the Capitol Visitor Center on behalf of the Recording Academy.

The Grammy-nominated trio — fronted by singer/songwriter Kimberly Perry, who shares the stage with her younger brothers, Neil and Reid — are scheduled to perform in the CVC’s Congressional Auditorium at noon, and will then hang around to discuss issues important to modern musicians.

“The event is designed to reinforce the value of music, as Congress considers revisions to laws that affect music creators,” organizers said in an official press release. Full story

January 7, 2015

Piper Perabo Scours Capitol Hill for Fans of Pay Bumps

“Covert Affairs” star Piper Perabo is canvassing Capitol Hill Wednesday and Thursday. Her mission: ferreting out supporters of an AFL-CIO-led pay raise push.

Piper Perabo Scours Capitol Hill for Fans of Pay Bumps

(Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images File Photo)

“Although I have been playing a CIA operative on TV, this is my first real walk through the halls of Congress, and I am excited,” the faux-intelligence operative, who first burst into the public consciousness as a drink-slinging, table top-stomping, karaoke savant in “Coyote Ugly,” told HOH. Full story

December 19, 2014

D.C. Helps Stephen Colbert Say Goodbye

Citizens of #ThisTown were among the pop culture illuminati sending off faux conservative blowhard Stephen Colbert on the final episode of “The Colbert Report,” all to a resounding singalong of “We’ll Meet Again.”

Along with longtime collaborator Jon Stewart and the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jeff Tweedy, Cookie Monster and the dragon Smaug from “The Hobbit,” the chorus of well-wishers included:

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.

Full story

December 18, 2014

Pols, Public Critique Wisdom of Silencing ‘The Interview’

Pols, Public Critique Wisdom of Silencing ‘The Interview’

Rogen, center, has gone radio silent since the controversy intensified. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Moviegoers from all walks of life have been stopped dead in their tracks by Sony’s decision to drop the sociopolitical football that is  “The Interview” from its schedule, due to mounting pressures from external forces.

Just days after the film’s co-stars Seth Rogen and James Franco bowed out of making any more public appearances for the film, the besieged studio packed it in as well, shelving a satirical romp that has purportedly deeply offended supporters of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. The stunning case of self-censorship unleashed a cacophony of analyses from instapundits.

Full story

December 16, 2014

DHS Not Ready to Torpedo ‘The Interview’ Opening

International troublemakers Seth Rogen and James Franco may be ready to run for cover from the mystery hackers who’ve brought Sony to its horribly bruised knees, but the feds see no reason (yet) to deprive moviegoers of a few laughs on Christmas.

Per Variety, the Department of Homeland Security has found “no credible intelligence” regarding threats the self-proclaimed “Guardians of Peace” have leveled against those who plan on seeing the farcical flick later this month.

Full story

December 3, 2014

Cooking Stars Hold Pols’ Feet to the Fire About Africa

Culinary heavies all charged up about energy poverty fanned out across the Capitol Wednesday in a last-ditch effort to illuminate lawmakers about the importance of empowering Africa.

Cooking Stars Hold Pols’ Feet to the Fire About Africa

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The lobbying blitz was coordinated by ONE, a nonprofit that works to bring change in the global health and social justice arenas. The current campaign is focused on carrying the stalled Electrify Africa Act of 2014 across the legislative finish line before lawmakers put a bow on the swirling cromnibus package and wrap up their official business for the year. Full story

December 2, 2014

Lawmakers Commemorate a Decade of AIDS Activism

Lawmakers Commemorate a Decade of AIDS Activism

Valenti (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Current lawmakers and congressional alumni are joining with the Motion Picture Association of America to tout the philanthropic efforts of the Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The global relief organization was co-founded in 2004 by the MPAA’s iconic chief, the late Jack Valenti. Full story

December 1, 2014

Contempt for Elizabeth Lauten Spreads Far and Wide

It seems that no one, or anything, is immune from the seething rage Elizabeth Lauten fomented by launching a personal attack against Sasha and Malia Obama.

The one-time spokeswoman for Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., had to fall on her sword Monday after her widely publicized rant about teenage behavior sparked a rhetorical war that cut across racial, political and gender divides.

The presumably seasoned public relations professional — Lauten handled press for one-term tea party favorite Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois during the 112th Congress, spent a few years as “social and earned media manager” at Purple Strategies prior to that, and earlier this year launched her own shop — inspired not one (#ElizabethLauten) but two (#FireElizabethLauten) vitriol-laden threads on Twitter.

About that firm? Perhaps Lauten tapped her classics major at East Carolina University, naming it Audeamus Communications. Audeamus means “may we dare” or “may we risk” in Latin. Do with that information what you will.

In addition to exposing herself to ridicule (it didn’t take long for the hypocrisy bashing to kick in) and scorn (The Smoking Gun unearthed a decade-old shoplifting charge), Lauten’s antics suddenly made Fincher fair game.

And he wasn’t the only one caught in the mounting crossfire. Full story

November 25, 2014

Capitol Hill Cop Spices Things Up as ‘Three Sheets Chef’

Capitol Police Officer Terry Heffernan told HOH he caught the acting bug while in college.

If only the theater crowd could see him now.

Capitol Hill Cop Spices Things Up as ‘Three Sheets Chef’

While he spends most of his time keeping the congressional campus safe, Heffernan has also been actively pursuing any and every opportunity to perform since the 1990s. “Being a police officer is my favorite way to support myself being an actor,” he quipped.

That lifelong dream has led him to blending in with the thousands of freezing cold extras seen huddled around the National Mall in that iconic scene from “Forrest Gump.” It compelled him to take a shot in an almost Doritos ad. And it inspired him to create the demented instructional series, “Three Sheets Chef.”

“It came to me while I was ruthlessly hung over, sitting on my couch watching the Food Channel,” Heffernan said of the “a-ha!” moment that led to his satirical side-gig.

The extremely low-tech series debuted in late 2011. Since then, Heffernan and a rag tag crew — including a fellow Capitol Hill cop who handles editing duties — have cobbled together just over a dozen installments of horribly misguided culinary instruction.

“We haven’t really figured out what the purpose of the show is yet, but I’ll tell you this, we’re really hoping to get on HBO.  And I have a feeling the best way to do that is for me to say ‘cocksucker’ about every three minutes,” Heffernan, channeling his perma-tipsy counterpart, explains in episode one.

Sure enough, the wheels come off each time. Full story

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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November 5, 2014

Clay Aiken Lost! Long Live Clay Aiken!

Clay Aiken won’t be coming to Congress. But that doesn’t mean Clay Aiken is going away, not if Esquire Network’s “four-hour limited documentary series” on the “American Idol” runner-up-turned-wannabe0lawmaker has anything to do with it.

Aiken lost to Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers in North Carolina’s 2nd District on Tuesday night, 58 percent  to 41 percent. While Aiken’s celebrity profile attracted attention to the race, he faced an uphill battle from the start in a GOP district. He didn’t solidify his hold on the nomination until his primary opponent, Former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco, died in May. The Nov. 4 GOP tidal wave confirmed Aiken’s runner-up status.

But with Esquire’s documentary, put together by filmmakers Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn, Aiken is due for another encore in public life. “We were granted incredible access during the making of this documentary, and in turn were able to capture the internal workings of an American campaign – the good, the bad and the ugly,” Simon Chinn said in a statement announcing the series, which is scheduled to air early next year. Ugly? Clay Aiken? Who would have thought?

Related:

Clay Aiken Primary Opponent Dies

Clay Aiken Returns to TV

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