Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 3, 2015

Posts in "Celebs"

February 23, 2015

Pols, Chefs Primed to Fete Military Families

A group of bipartisan lawmakers is expected to join a cadre of local chefs and administration officials Tuesday in showing their support for civic groups and community leaders devoted to assisting military families any which way they can.

Blue Star Families’ Fifth Anniversary Celebration, an invitation-only affair hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is scheduled to kick off Tuesday at 6 p.m. The annual gala pays tribute to those who look out for armed forces personnel — either by hiring returning vets, providing assistance to their families or facilitating the transition from active duty to civilian life — here on the home front. Full story

February 10, 2015

Live, From New York — It’s Al Franken!

It’s been decades since he stood on the fabled stage that so many comedy greats have called home. But come Sunday, Sen. Al Franken plans to be back in Studio 8H to help commemorate the 40th anniversary of “Saturday Night Live.”

Live, From New York — It’s Al Franken!

(Screenshot)

The Minnesota Democrat, who spent a combined 15 seasons writing for and performing on the sketch comedy juggernaut, told HOH he expects to make the trek to 30 Rockefeller Plaza to watch the live, three-hour reunion show (scheduled to air on Feb. 15 at 8 p.m.). “The whole experience was wonderful,” Franken said when pressed about the most memorable moments from over a decade spent with the “Not Ready for Prime Time Players.” Full story

February 9, 2015

Niki Tsongas, Jerrold Nadler Embraced by LGBT Filmmakers

Words of support that House Democrats Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts and Jerrold Nadler of New York extended to a same-sex couple whose union was threatened by the polarizing Defense of Marriage Act are slated to appear in an upcoming movie about the ongoing struggle.

According to Caroline Hart, the European half of a domestic partnership that came under fire after Department of Homeland Security agents tossed around talk of deportation following a return flight from her native England, the kind words both lawmakers shared via Twitter will be rolled into “Status Unknown” — a dramatization of the nightmare scenario she experienced at Logan Airport. Full story

Eugene Mirman Has an Ear for Lawmaking

Comedian and voice-over actor Eugene Mirman must have a gas tuning in to C-SPAN 3.

Pop culture portal Vulture recently asked the “Bob’s Burger’s” star to help identify the formulator of certain noxious emissions, and he came up with some curious conclusions.

“That sounds, and I’m pretty sure I’m right, like a congressional subcommittee,” the Comedians of Comedy alumnus says of the three-part toot (get an earful at 0:20-0:28) crafted by Vulture’s audio engineers. Full story

February 5, 2015

Flipping Burger Beats Into a Battle of the Congressional Bands

Shake Shack — still coming off its price-doubling IPO high, no doubt — is looking to spread some love by giving local bands a shot at nationwide exposure via its “Burger Beats” contest.

The aspiring musicians who make the final cut stand to have their signature sound spotlighted on Shake Shack’s constantly evolving Spotify playlist.

Flipping Burger Beats Into a Battle of the Congressional Bands

(Screenshot)

According to the fast-food giant’s Facebook page, the only real restriction is that any would-be performers must be located within the burger baron’s gradually expanding orbit, a community that currently includes: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Connecticut, Florida, Las Vegas, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia and, you guessed it, Washington, D.C.

Which means congressional crooners are in play. Full story

January 29, 2015

Sheldon Whitehouse Throws Cold Water on Climate Change Deniers

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse recently assured fellow eco-warriors that the tide on Capitol Hill is turning against those who feel protecting the environment is a non-issue.

“That wall of denial is cracking and it is crumbling,” the Rhode Island Democrat told those gathered for an open house at Oceana on Jan. 27. “Congress is feeling it. And they can’t hold out.”

Sheldon Whitehouse Throws Cold Water on Climate Change Deniers

(Courtesy Oceana)

Whitehouse’s optimistic assessment seems to fly directly in the face of current events, what with “Greatest Hoax” author and newly minted Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., being put in charge of that chamber’s ecological stewardship. Full story

Hospitality Giants Aim to Mobilize Food Fans to Action (Video)

Hospitality Giants Aim to Mobilize Food Fans to Action (Video)

Sips & Suppers co-founders Nathan, Waters and Andres address the Newseum event. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

It turns out that huddling with food-conscious Washingtonians and raising millions of dollars for local charities was merely an appetizer for “Sips & Suppers” co-founders José Andrés, Joan Nathan and Alice Waters.

Their next objective: getting the well-fed masses up from their respective tables and into the streets to clamor for change in school-lunch policies. Full story

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

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