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February 7, 2016

Posts in "Celebs"

February 4, 2016

Alicia Keys Sends Speaker Ryan a Valentine

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 4: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., holds a news conference on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ryan said the House would hold votes on the criminal justice legislation that the Judiciary Committee passed. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Musician Alicia Keys is making a plea to Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., in hopes he will schedule a vote on criminal justice policy.

Keys posted a video “Justice Reform Now” to YouTube on Thursday, opening with a flirtatious, “Can I call you Paul?” She said she saw a picture of the speaker working out and figured he was “cool.”

“Show me how cool you are,” she said. “In fact you can even maybe be my Valentine if you help me spread some love.” Full story

By Alex Gangitano Posted at 3:53 p.m.

Martin Shkreli Invokes Attitude — and the Fifth

UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 04: Martin Shkreli, right, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in Rayburn Building on "methods and reasoning behind recent drug price increases," February 04, 2016. Turing had raised the price of Daraprim, a drug used by AIDS and cancer patients, from $13.50 to $750 a pill. Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, appears on the monitor. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Shkreli laughs during his appearance before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Martin Shkreli giggled and smiled his way through his testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Thursday and at times seemed distracted. And members of the committee called him out on it.

Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, asked Shkreli, “Do you think you’ve done anything wrong?” Shkreli giggled.

Full story

Don’t Stop Catching Fire for the Bern

UNITED STATES - FEB 2. - A campaign worker sticks his head out the door while on the phone at the campaign headquarters of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, Monday, Feb. 1, 2016 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

A campaign worker sticks his head out the door while on the phone at the campaign headquarters Sanders. Hutcherson and Foster campaigned hard for Sanders. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

DES MOINES, Iowa — As the great political exodus from Iowa got underway following Monday’s presidential caucuses, it was just another winter day at Des Moines International Airport: Planes got de-iced, souvenirs were purchased and celebrities like Josh Hutcherson (Peeta from “The Hunger Games”) and Mark Foster of the band Foster the People — fresh off their days of rallying for Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt. — rushed to catch flights to warmer climes and future caucuses.

Full story

February 3, 2016

Congressional Spouse Events Surround National Prayer Breakfast


Aderholt co-hosts the National Prayer Breakfast. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Aderholt co-hosts the National Prayer Breakfast. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congressional spouses traditionally get together every February to meet one another, break bread together and share in each other’s faiths.

“I think these events show people that the spouses are real people and that we really care about each other,” Caroline Aderholt, whose husband Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala.,  is a longtime co-host of these events, told HOH. “Prayer is important to us and we believe in it, and it makes a difference in our personal lives, in our family’s lives and we think it can make a difference in our world.”

Full story

February 1, 2016

Akon Discusses Electricity in Africa at the Chamber

Washington, DC, USA - February 1, 2016: Rapper Akon and Akon Lighting Africa with the U.S.-Africa Business Center. Photo by Ian Wagreich / © U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Left to right: Eisner, Akon, Niang, Bathily. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Chamber of Commerce)

Musician Akon visited the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday to promote renewable energy in Africa.

Famous for his songs, “I Wanna Love You” and “Locked Up,” Akon co-founded the Akon Lighting Africa initiative, which works to provide electricity to countries in Africa from a grassroots level.

Full story

Will Shkreli Show Up?

Martin Shkreli (C), a former hedge fund manager and Chief Executive Officer of Retrophin, leaves the federal court after getting bail, in New York on December 17, 2015. Shkreli, the pharmaceutical CEO who caused a storm in September by jacking up the price of a life-saving drug, was arrested Thursday on fraud charges, prosecutors said. His arrest was not linked to the 5,000-percent increase in the price of Daraprim, a drug used to treat malaria and infections suffered by HIV-positive individuals. The FBI said he was targeted instead in an $11 million embezzlement probe at another company he once led, Retrophin. AFP PHOTO/JEWEL SAMAD / AFP / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Shkreli leaves federal court in New York after getting bail on Dec. 17. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images File Photo)

Despite his dismissive tweets in answer to a subpoena, House Oversight and Government Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said he expects notorious pharmaceutical entrepreneur Martin Shkreli to testify on Capitol Hill on Thursday in arguably the most-hyped hearing so far in 2016.

The House Oversight and Government Committee hearing, titled “Developments in the Prescription Drug Market,” was rescheduled from Jan. 26 due to Winter Storm Jonas clean-up in Washington.

Full story

January 27, 2016

Kate Walsh Lobbies Against Atlantic Offshore Drilling

Walsh spoke at a Oceana Capitol Hill rally in 2011. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Walsh spoke at a Oceana Capitol Hill rally in 2011. (Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Actress Kate Walsh trekked to Capitol Hill Wednesday to make the case that President Barack Obama should abandon any plans for offshore Atlantic drilling.

“It was incredible to hear how passionate, and again the myriad of reasons, people have for coming up against it,” Walsh told HOH. “Hopefully, we will be able to convince the president to take it out of the plan.” Last January, the Interior Department unveiled the latest of its five-year plan for offshore drilling, which included leases off the Atlantic coast. Full story

January 21, 2016

‘Courting Des Moines’ the Night Before the Iowa Caucuses


‘Twas the night before the Iowa caucuses, and all through the state — candidates, political reporters and anyone interested in the next president of the United States were invited to the Jan. 31 premiere of “Courting Des Moines.”

The feature film is “a fake story about the real Iowa caucuses” and is the brainchild of writer/director and Roll Call contributor Brent Roske. The movie, a sequel to Roske’s “Chasing the Hill” series, follows the fictional presidential campaign of Rep. Samantha Clemons, played by Melissa Fitzgerald, as well as real-life candidates as Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and other public officials who traipse through the Hawkeye State in the lead-up to the first-in-the-nation caucuses.

The show starts at Des Moines’ Varsity Theater at 9 p.m., and will be followed by a question and answer session with Roske, former Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and the film’s co-star Catherine Urbanek. Invitation follows the jump: Full story

Celebrities to Fight Atlantic Offshore Drilling

Waterston lobbies on Capitol Hill in 2009 (CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Waterston lobbies on Capitol Hill in 2009. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Oceana is bringing out celebrities and lawmakers in a major push against industrial offshore drilling in the Atlantic Ocean.

On Tuesday, Ted Danson, known for his role in “Cheers,” and Sam Waterston, familiar from “Law & Order,” both Oceana board members and ocean advocates, will attend Oceana’s Coastal Voices Summit. Kate Walsh, an Oceana supporter and recurring speaker for the group who is most famous from “Grey’s Anatomy,” will also participate. Full story

January 20, 2016

Martin Shkreli Subpoenaed to Testify Next Week

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to welcome Shkreli next week (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will welcome Shkreli next week (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Former pharmaceuticals executive and hedge fund honcho Martin Shkreli has been ordered to testify on Capitol Hill next week.

The 32-year-old notoriously flamboyant tweeter shared a subpoena requesting his testimony on Jan. 26 at 10 a.m. at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

In December, the former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals was arrested of securities fraud charges in a ponzi-like scheme but was freed on a $5 million bond. The committee’s note is dated Jan. 11. On Wednesday, Shkreli fired his lawyers on the case. Shkreli knows a thing or two about politics, though. He tweeted at the committee’s ranking member, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings D-Md., about what he calls his upcoming “chit chat.”

According to The New York Times, others scheduled to testify at the hearing are Howard B. Schiller, Valeant Pharmaceuticals interim chief executive officer, and Nancy Retzlaff, Turing Pharmaceuticals chief commercial officer. Shkreli resigned as CEO of Turing last month.


See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call’s new video site.

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January 19, 2016

Gillibrand, Michelle Kwan Want to Fire Up Millennial Women for Hillary


Gillibrand spoke at a Women Senators Endorsement Event for Clinton in November (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and figure skater Michelle Kwan are kicking off presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s millennial women enterprise on Tuesday night.

The D.C. launch of the campaign’s new initiative, Millennial Women for Hillary, will take place at Dirty Martini bar in Dupont Circle at 6 p.m. Women between the ages of 22 and 35 are invited and must sign up online by paying $25. Full story

January 6, 2016

Gosar Targets Bill Cosby’s Medal of Freedom

UNITED STATES - AUGUST 1: Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting, beginning at the Capitol Hill Club on Wednesday, August 1, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Gosar is trying to help take down Bill Cosby (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., is attempting to assist in the removal of Bill Cosby’s Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The Arizona congressman is holding a news conference on Thursday at 3 p.m. to promote his legislation affirming a mechanism for the president to strip the medal of freedom from the actor.

In July, when asked about revoking the medal of freedom from Cosby, President Barack Obama said, “there’s no precedent for revoking a medal. We don’t have that mechanism.”

The president added, “If you give a woman — or a man, for that matter — without his or her knowledge a drug and then have sex with that person without consent, that’s rape.”

Gosar’s bill would also impose a criminal penalty on someone who publicly displays a medal of freedom that has been revoked. According to a statement, Gosar has been working on this bill since July.

According to his office, Gosar works closely with Promoting Awareness Victim Empowerment, PAVE, a D.C. nonprofit that works to prevent sexual assault, as well as help survivors.

Cosby faces three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault. More than 50 women have accused him of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault.

Cosby received his medal of freedom in 2002.

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By Alex Gangitano Posted at 11:49 a.m.
Celebs, POTUS

January 5, 2016

Amy Schumer Continues Effort to Stop Gun Violence


Schumer’s cousin, Amy Schumer, continues to advocate for gun control. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

D.C.’s favorite congressional cousin is voicing her support for President Barack Obama’s announcement on the steps he’s taking to tighten the country’s gun laws.

Comedian Amy Schumer, the cousin of Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., tweeted Tuesday morning a link to former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety website.

Ever since a shooter killed two women in July in Louisiana during a screening of Schumer’s movie “Trainwreck,” the actress has joined with her cousin, the No. 3 Senate Democrat, to advocate for gun control.

In August, the Schumers held a news conference on a gun control bill sponsored by the senator. In October, the Schumers went to New York’s City Hall to call for “crusade on guns.”


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By Alex Gangitano Posted at 12:20 p.m.

December 17, 2015

Papal Birthday Stirs Congressional Memory

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 24: Pope Francis greets Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Vice President Joe Biden in the House chamber of the Capitol before he addressed a joint meeting of Congress, September 24, 2015. Francis is the first pope to ever address Congress. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Francis’ visit deeply affected Boehner. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The man who brought more traffic to Washington than most presidential inaugurations turns 79 today. Some might even say Pope Francis helped set in motion the biggest turnover in House leadership in years.

Although his September visit was the he’s only time he’s been to Capitol Hill, the hype and repercussions were unmatched.

In March 2014, former Speaker John A. Boehner announced he had invited the pontiff  to address a joint meeting of Congress.
Full story

October 28, 2015

The Dude Does Not Abide Hungry Kids


Bridges posed with Stabenow on Wednesday. (Tom WiIliams/CQ Roll Call)

Bridges posed with Stabenow on Wednesday. (Tom WiIliams/CQ Roll Call)

Congress’ policy for feeding hungry kids during the summer is straight out of the ’60s, and “The Dude” does not abide.

Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges sat down with Senate Agriculture Committee lawmakers on Wednesday to talk about improving the federally funded Summer Food Service Program “not only for moral reasons, but for patriotic reasons.” Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 2:47 p.m.
Celebs, Charity Case

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