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

Posts in "Critters"

November 17, 2014

Capitol Hill Cops Ham It Up in Prospective Doritos Ad

Apart from walking the same beat, Capitol Police Officers Terry Heffernan and Brian Stevers also share a passion for acting — a creative outlet currently being fed by starring rolls in a would-be Doritos commercial.

The aspiring ad, originally conceived and shot by short film vet Antonio Souto, is just one of the current crop of fan-made entries in the chip maker’s annual “Crash the Super Bowl” contest.

Heffernan plays the smug, snack-hoarding mark terrorized by a creepy, tutu-clad Chihuahua for not sharing the famously cheesy grub with a nefarious little girl. By the end of the 30-second spot, the defeated schlub seeks to visit the same ruin on another unsuspecting stooge (Stevers) unwilling to part with a single, orange dust-covered morsel. Full story

November 13, 2014

Hill Staffers Soldier Through Bison Day Reception

Congress had been gone for weeks before trickling back into town Wednesday for the latest lame-duck session. A few hundred congressional aides celebrated the triumphant return of the resurgent Republican Party by getting their fill (and then some) of food, drink and plush collectibles at the National Bison Day reception.

Hill Staffers Soldier Through Bison Day Reception

Attendees mingling in Dirksen during the National Bison Day reception. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The annual soiree, which took place in Dirksen, attracted scores of staffers and interns but few lawmakers. Projected guest speaker Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., turned out to be a no-show, but event organizers noted that Rep. José E. Serrano, D-N.Y., managed to swing by for a bit.

By the time this roving reporter penetrated the herd, the promised bison sliders and gourmet meatballs had been devoured. The food basically gone (save for a lone bowl of broken, pathetic-looking potato chips), partygoers turned their attention to sucking dry every last bottle of Budweiser and Bud Light bartenders could fish from icy bins.

Hill Staffers Soldier Through Bison Day Reception

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“It’s way too wobbly. It would probably only take one person to knock it over,” a visibly buzzed guest estimated while eyeballing the evening’s oversized star attraction. Full story

November 11, 2014

Thundering Herds Expected Wednesday for Bison Day Fest

The bison lobby is storming back onto the Hill Wednesday for its annual congressional reception — a celebration of things large, lumbering and mammalian.

The National Bison Day shindig (NBD was actually on Nov. 1, but this is close enough for government work, right?) is scheduled to take place Wednesday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Dirksen 106. Interested parties are strongly encouraged to RSVP via Eventbrite.

One of the sponsors told HOH this year’s festivities would include complimentary bison sliders (courtesy of Western Buffalo Company), bison meatballs (a new addition to the program), bison-shaped cookies and samples of Buffalo Trace Distillery’s barrel-aged wares (everything’s coming up Kentucky!)

Amateur photographers can also snap away at the planned Beards for Bison “selfie station.” Full story

October 23, 2014

Boston Terrier Intent on Conquering D.C.

Rep. David B. McKinley ought to thank his lucky stars a certain someone wasn’t feeling that ambitious Wednesday when he sauntered into the West Virginia Republican’s congressional office.

Based on what we know now, that impromptu visit from a seemingly confused pup could just as easily have spiraled into a hostile takeover.

You see, HOH’s new friend, Clark, has big plans.

The civics-minded pooch tends to mug for the camera (a la his antihero idol, Frank Underwood).

And is not averse to bucking the system in order to resolve pressing personal priorities. Full story

October 22, 2014

Senate Chihuahua Digs Cannon Rover

According to the animal rescuer in the office of Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va., who tended to the stray dog that popped by unannounced, its owner swooped by to scoop it up shortly thereafter.

The visit may have been short-lived. But the well-bundled mutt caused enough of a stir that an admirer surfaced on the other side of the Capitol.

Senate Chihuahua Digs Cannon Rover

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

“My 5-lb Chihuahua, named Sassy, thinks he’s kinda cute and wants to know if he’s seeing anyone…?” a Senate Democrat aide quizzed HOH after learning about the wandering rascal.

Per Sassy’s mom, her pint-sized pooch’s turn-ons include fashionable males (“Bonus points for this one, as he’s clearly well-groomed and knows how rock a stylish sweater!”) and romps in the park (who doesn’t?). Full story

Errant Pooch on the Loose in Cannon

Anyone missing a sweater-clad canine?

Errant Pooch on the Loose in Cannon

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

An aide to Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va., put the word out via an internal listserv that the turned-around pooch — which staff believes to be a French bulldog — randomly wandered into Cannon 412 a bit ago.

No word on what the four-legged visitor has been up to since making itself at home in McKinley’s office. Although we suspect office workers are enjoying the unscheduled interruption.

Update 1:30 p.m.: Multiples sources have reached out to HOH to say the mystery guest in McKinley’s office looks more like a Boston Terrier than a French Bulldog. Given our limited grasp of the universe of small dog breeds, HOH will defer to the armchair veterinarians out there.

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U.S. Attorney Offers Plea Deals in Capitol Hill Gun Cases

Capitol Police Stop Another Gun From Entering Cannon Building (Updated)

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October 20, 2014

Jason Chaffetz’s Stolen Moments

Rep. Jason Chaffetz doesn’t like being away from Washington, D.C.

He loves it.

The aversion to #ThisTown, one might be surprised to learn, has nothing to do with the hyperpartisanship plaguing the current Congress or the mania surrounding the upcoming midterm elections.

The guy simply prefers basking in the glory of nature. And he strives to preserve those fleeting memories by capturing all he can through the lens of his digital camera.

Jason Chaffetz’s Stolen Moments

(Courtesy Rep. Jason Chaffetz)

“Mostly I like photographing wildlife. It’s a little more adventurous,” the Utah Republican told HOH about his penchant for sneaking shots of stunning creatures in their natural habitats.

The avid outdoorsman compared photo stalking with hunting — “I like hunting, but you can’t always get a permit or a tag. You can always have permission to go out and try to photograph an elk,” Chaffetz suggested — sans the bloodshed, of course. Full story

October 17, 2014

The Sweet Taste of Victory (Biscuits): Puppy Wins ‘Top Dog’ Competition

The Sweet Taste of Victory (Biscuits): Puppy Wins Top Dog Competition

Hammie greets one of her admirers. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

A 12-week-old English bulldog burst onto the Capitol Hill scene this year, winning the second annual “Top Dog” competition.

Hammie, who can be spotted roaming around the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, beat out nearly 60 other dogs in the online competition for cutest Capitol canine, hosted by constituent engagement firm Fireside21.

The competition garnered more than 80,000 votes (participants could vote multiple times) and Hammie’s owner said the pup, who took 35 percent, had a fan base extending beyond Capitol Hill.

“People were excited about her. Plus my family back home, they voted. And the people who I got her from in Tampa, they voted,” said Hammie’s owner, Corey Hamilton. “Everybody just started voting for her. She’s always out and about. I live on Capitol Hill, too, and so we’re always out and I think that’s what got the word out.” Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 1:35 p.m.
Critters

October 15, 2014

‘Dogs Impersonating Biden’ — It’s a Thing Now

In a world flush with insanely candid shots of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. being, well, Bidenesque, there’s only one way to outdo the freewheeling almost-leader of the free world: pair him up with canine doppelgangers.

Dogs Impersonating Biden — Its a Thing Now

(Screenshot)

At least that’s what online photo hound “delrayser” has done with the nascent “Dogs Impersonating Biden” site.

“I think Joe Biden’s great, for a lot of the same goofy, lovable reasons that dogs are. I expect that’s why people find the Tumblr funny,” the visually motivated blogger said of this new pet project.

The surreal matchmaking service was launched late last week after delrayser stumbled upon a rib-tickling social media post.

“My original inspiration was the photo of Biden looking out a window … and it struck me as funny because of the sullen expression on his face. Sort of like a dog staring out the window after you when you leave the house,” DIB’s creator explained. “So I found a comparable photo and posted them both in a tweet.”

 

 

Biden kicked the door open even further by getting caught in the now iconic I-always-don-Aviators-before-devouring-ice-cream pose. Full story

September 30, 2014

During Recess, Congress Goes to the Dogs

With their tails wagging, Maya and Cash trotted around House office buildings Tuesday to raise awareness for a bill to protect pets of domestic-violence victims.

“If we could do this with all legislation, I think Congress would get more done,” said one delighted Hill staffer in Rep. Alcee L. Hastings’ office when the dogs came through the door.

Cash, a black-and-tan coonhound, had a blue pack on his back holding “Dear Colleague” letters urging members of Congress to support The Pet and Women Safety Act, sponsored by Reps. Katherine M. Clark, D-Mass., and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla. The bill expands protections to pets of domestic-violence victims and includes a grant program to incorporate pets into domestic-violence shelters.

The tall hound is a regular visitor in Clark’s congressional office and belongs to the congresswoman’s chief of staff, Brooke Scannell. “He likes to sit in on meetings,” legislative assistant Steve Thornton joked. Full story

‘Top Dog’ Trends Emerge

The mirth-makers at Fireside21 have once again thrust political pooches into the spotlight, rounding up some 30-odd photogenic pups for the 2014 “Top Dog” competition.

 

Top Dog Trends Emerge

(Screenshot)

 

Winston, the English lab belonging to Jon Corley, then-press assistant to Texas Republican Mac Thornberry, bested some six dozen pets with ties to Capitol Hill during last year’s inaugural roundup.

Other fan favorites included:

  • Most Competitive = Milton; House Press Gallery.  Breed: chow chow.
  • Best Hair = Lucy; Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky.  Breed: mini goldendoodle.
  • Most Likely to Succeed = Conan; Congressional Research Service.  Breed: hound/beagle.
  • Best Smile = Balto; Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas.  Breed: German shepherd.
  • Most Athletic = Banjo; Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, D-Mass.  Breed: border collie mix.
  • Biggest Flirt = Harley; Agriculture Committee.  Breed: worthless.
  • Most Regal = Lucy; Abled Americans.  Breed: dachshund.
  • Biggest Party Animal = Tanner; Rep. Bobby L. Rush, D-Ill. Breed: Yorkipoo.
  • Best Advisor = Pepper; Rep. Michael M. Honda, D-Calif.  Breed: Norwegian elk hound mix.

Although this year’s crop of dog-testants has only begun winning over the hearts and minds of the Internet-enabled public (the winner won’t be crowned until Oct. 15), certain prejudices appear to be steering early balloting.

People seem to prefer sparingly-used props — as in the case of the stress toy-chomping shih poo belonging to Wisconsin Democrat Gwen Moore.

 

Top Dog Trends Emerge

(Screenshot)

 

That seems to be besting overly-produced moments, a la the flag-draped westie put on parade by California Republican Ed Royce. Full story

August 15, 2014

Steve Scalise, Loretta Sanchez Keep #IceBucketChallenge in the Family

John A. Boehner and crew can relax.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana has taken one for the leadership team, completing the charitable #IceBucketChallenge thrust upon him by Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., without redirecting the temporary discomfort further up the chain of command.

Rather than rain on his colleagues’ summer plans, Scalise punted the fashionable fundraiser toward his celluloid brethren, entertainer Kevin Spacey.

The Academy Award-winning actor, who famously palled around with Scalise’s predecessor, now-House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to help flesh out his scene-chewing alter ego, House Majority Whip Frank Underwood, D-S.C., is reportedly hard at work on season 3 of Netflix’s runaway drama, “House of Cards,” just up the road in Baltimore. Full story

July 15, 2014

David Valadao Attempts to Rope Online Flock Into #CowAppreciationDay

Rep. David Valadao has invited the entire Twitterverse to weigh in on what he should name the mottled black newborn calf that joined the dairy farm last weekend.

 

 

“Help me give this heifer a name! #NameACalf,” he implored supporters on social media.

A Valadao aide said the family usually handles naming duties, but indicated that the freshman lawmaker wanted to be more all-inclusive this time around. “Given that CA-21 is the biggest dairy district in the entire United States and thousands of our constituents work in the industry, Congressman Valadao thought it would be fun for constituents and their children to name this heifer (female cow),” the aide told HOH via email.

Got a guaranteed winner rolling around in the back of your mind?

Don’t dawdle.

Team Valadao plans to corral all the suggestions and select the final nomenclature come Thursday afternoon.

April 24, 2014

Ted Cruz Kills It on Social Media

Sen. Ted Cruz did a little troll hunting April 23, baiting the entirety of the Internet-enabled world with a perplexing pic of an urban safari that incited carnage across the social mediasphere.

The Texas Republican set the trap by innocently (?) blasting out a snapshot of him and Utah Republican Mike Lee — staff told HOH the tea party pals have been tag-teaming fundraisers across the Lone Star State this week — posing atop a snarling animal pelt.

 

 

Had this Senate bromance finally gone lethal?

What endangered species might be next on the Cruz-Lee extinction tour?

Or was Cruz yet again practicing the art of pressing everyone’s buttons?

“The senator was kidding,” a Cruz aide explained of the spontaneous photo op with a totally fake tiger skin rug. “He ran across it between meetings in Houston yesterday and wanted a picture.”

Joke or not, the stunt unleashed a torrent of passionate reactions on Twitter and Facebook.

After sifting through the thousands of comments furiously scribbled on Cruz’s social media boards, the brunt of popular opinion falls into three main camps:

No Remorse

Ted Cruz Kills It on Social Media

(Screenshot)

Full story

March 28, 2014

Pair Up at Paws for Love

Searching for a wet-nosed significant other?

Pair Up at Paws for Love

(Courtesy James P. Moran)

Congressional Animal Protection Caucus Co-Chairman James P. Moran, D-Va., and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals want to help fill that hole in your heart and the hollow between your arms with a furry-footed roomie psyched to crash at your place for, well, ever.

The first semi-regular adoption event of 2014 is scheduled to take place April 4 from 12-2:30 p.m. in the Cannon Caucus Room.

As usual, expect to find plenty of cuddle-ready pups and kittens — as well as full-grown companions — ready to be sprung from local animal shelters.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 1:17 p.m.
Critters, HillSide, Reps

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