Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 22, 2014

Posts in "FightingWords"

June 26, 2014

Utah Cherry Cobbler Wins Roll Call Taste of America for Second Time

Utah Cherry Cobbler Wins Roll Call Taste of America for Second Time

One cobbler to rule them all. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Utah’s cherry cobbler beat out seven other regional comfort foods in the final round of Roll Call’s Taste of America, becoming the only previous champion to regain the title.

Utah’s fruit-and-starch concoction, which won in 2012, beat out Oregon’s blackberry pie, Iowa bacon, Illinois deep dish pizza, Maine’s lobster roll, Maryland crab cakes, Kentucky fried chicken and North Carolina barbecue.

Utah Cherry Cobbler Wins Roll Call Taste of America for Second Time

Team Utah stormed the Taste of America beach. And ruled. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Previous winners include West Virginia pepperoni rolls in 2013, Utah cherry cobbler in 2012 and Northern Mariana Islands apigigi, from 2011.

Maine seemed to have the inside track and was early favorite, but sugar won out over protein for culinary dominance in America. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, reacted with disappointment, yet class.

“My sincere congratulations to Utah on cherry cobbler’s culinary victory in the Taste of America Competition.  For the sake of a united country, I will not demand a recount, though I couldn’t be prouder of the Maine lobster roll’s performance in this contest. In tribute, I’ll be enjoying one as soon as I get back home,” she said in a statement.

June 25, 2014

Congressmen Cover Prince, Battle Over ‘Purple Rain,’ ‘Raspberry Beret’

Two congressmen took to Twitter to show off their musical chops, commemorating “Purple Rain,” Prince’s top-charting, critically acclaimed sixth album that turned 30 years old on Wednesday.

First up was Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn. Also from Prince’s hometown of Minneapolis, Ellison posted a 6-second Vine of himself from his office performing “Purple Rain,” acoustic guitar and all. Ellison tweeted his disbelief in the album’s age and added the hashtag, “#Purplerain.”

In response to Ellison, Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., tweeted his Prince performance for “Raspberry Beret,” Prince’s first single off his 1985 album “Around The World in a Day.” Also with acoustic guitar, Crowley crooned the verse: “She wore a raspberry beret/The kind you find in a secondhand store.”

How do their covers stack up to Prince’s original versions? Which congressman’s take on Prince is the best? Will any other members of Congress step up to the plate to show off their favorite Prince song? Let us know in the comments section.

 

June 23, 2014

Bob Casey Wants FIFA to Strip Qatar of 2022 World Cup

Bob Casey Wants FIFA to Strip Qatar of 2022 World Cup

Casey wants FIFA to strip the World Cup from Qatar. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

As the U.S. national team prepares to take on Germany Thursday to qualify for the knockout stage of the World Cup, Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., wants soccer’s governing body to take the 2022 tournament away from Qatar.

“I’m urging FIFA to remove the cloud that hangs over the 2022 World Cup and swiftly reallocate this event,” Casey said in a Monday letter to FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, adding that the United States conveniently stands ready to host.

Casey, chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, cited  labor practices and allegations of corruption and bribery as reasons to strip the tournament from the Gulf state monarchy.  Full story

Bill Maher’s #FlipADistrict Project Enters Final Countdown

Bill Mahers #FlipADistrict Project Enters Final Countdown

Coffman, left, and Walorski are two of the House Republicans targeted in the Bill Maher ‘Flip a District’ project. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

There are just two chances left to nominate House GOP lawmakers for ousting at the hands of HBO’s Bill Maher.

The political comedian announced during the June 20 “Real Time With Bill Maher” that he has added Republican Reps. Tim Walberg of Michigan and freshman Jackie Walorski of Indiana to his list of incumbents who might be vulnerable in the November midterm elections.

Full story

June 19, 2014

DWS Sustains Hamstring Injury at Congressional Women’s Softball Game

DWS Sustains Hamstring Injury at Congressional Womens Softball Game

Wasserman Schultz celebrates the win. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Good thing the next Congressional Women’s Softball Game is a year away.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., tore her hamstring Wednesday night as she was rounding the bases during the annual charity softball game and will be sidelined for “at least a couple of weeks” as she undergoes physical therapy for the injury, her office said Thursday afternoon.

Despite Wasserman Schultz’s injury early on in the game, the female members of Congress went on to defeat the female reporters in a triumphant 10-5 win — taking back the coveted trophy after a two-year slump.

Full story

June 18, 2014

Bustos Returns Fire as Taste of America Trash Talk Continues

Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., has issued a call for bipartisanship in the Taste of America competition, even as she took a subtle dig at the portion size of a fellow Midwesterner’s dish of choice.

After Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, called out Bustos in a recent press release touting Iowa bacon, Bustos responded with a tweet that still managed to slip in a knock at bacon by adding the hashtag, “#itsatoppingnotameal.”

 

Braley issued a colorful statement on Monday about the competition, saying, “Look, I like a good casserole as much as the next guy, and I have a great working relationship with my friend Cheri Bustos from Illinois — but a contest between deep dish pizza and Bacon is no contest at all — bacon wins running away.”

Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 12:35 p.m.
FightingWords, Food

June 17, 2014

Congressional Women’s Softball Batting Practices Get Wild at New York Times, Huffington Post (Updated) (Video)

They ain’t messing around at The New York Times and The Huffington Post.

Both news organizations were the sites of indoor batting practice sessions on Tuesday, in preparation for Wednesday evening’s Congressional Women’s Softball Game. The annual match between female members of Congress and the women of the Washington press corps. The game benefits the Young Survival Coalition, a breast cancer charity. Tickets can be purchased here.

Over at the Times, bureau chief Carolyn Ryan is taking her game debut so seriously that she and day editor Jill Agostino regularly hold pepper drills in Ryan’s office.

“I think it speaks volumes about our confidence going into the game that Carolyn wanted to play pepper in her glass-enclosed office,” New York Times junior reporter Emmarie Huetteman observed.

Ryan, Agostino and Huetteman joined the softball team thanks to the scouting efforts of press coach and New York Times chief Washington correspondent Carl Hulse.

As if she needed any more initiation, Ryan found herself sucked into a Twitter fight with the game’s founder, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., over the last 24 hours.

Step One: Ready the Batting Stance

Congressional Womens Softball Batting Practices Get Wild at New York Times, Huffington Post (Updated) (Video)

Courtesy Emmarie Huetteman

 

Full story

June 16, 2014

Bruce Braley Extols ‘The Amazingness of Bacon’ in Taste of America Voting

In a release replete with the salty trash-talking language that defines Roll Call’s Taste of America contest, Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, says the votes among the remaining eight foodstuffs shouldn’t even be close and that bacon rightfully rules the world.

“Katy Perry called bacon the ‘meat candy of the world’ and she’s a vegan for crying out loud. Watching bacon lose to one of these second-tier foods would be an injustice,” the Senate hopeful says in the release that went out with the subject line: “Braley: Don’t Go Bacon my Heart.”

Aside from the Elton John/Kiki Dee duet play on words, we have to admire Braley for the brazenness of his appeal. This is raw (or cooked) regional culinary pride, topped out by his office’s claim that “while there are many proud and tasty culinary traditions in the world, they all pale in comparison to the amazingness of bacon.”

Or, as Braley states in the release: “Look, I like a good casserole as much as the next guy, and I have a great working relationship with my friend Cheri Bustos from Illinois — but a contest between deep dish pizza and Bacon is no contest at all — bacon wins running away.”

Voting ends Friday and the winners will be announced on June 25 at the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

And, returning to Braley’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” reference, we’d be remiss if we didn’t also provide the following cover of it by John Travolta and Captain and Tennille.

 

June 14, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of June 9 (Video)

Even with Majority Leader Eric Cantor stealing the spotlight for much of the week, members managed to focus their attention on beef jerky, hamburgers, pools and Ewoks.

June 10, 2014

Minnesota Democrats Stump for #VoteDuluth

It’s coming down to the wire in Outside’s fourth annual “Best Towns Tournament,” and Minnesota Democrats are doing their darnedest to ensure that nobody, but nobody — that means you, Beehive Staters — comes between Duluth and sweet, sweet victory.

Minnesota Democrats Stump for #VoteDuluth

(Screenshot)

The monthlong competition has seen its share of ups and downs, with the two top contenders battling hard for national recognition.

Along the way, Duluth handily disposed of Columbia, Mo. (enjoying a nearly 5-to-1 advantage in the first round); then trumped Athens, Ohio (second round); La Crosse, Wis. (third round); neighboring Minneapolis (fourth round) and Asheville, N.C. (fifth round), to reach the finals.

Provo bested Jackson, Wyo. (first round); Taos, N.M. (second round); Missoula, Mont. (third round); Anchorage, Alaska (fourth round), and then just barely squeaked by Ithaca, N.Y. (receiving just 51 percent of the votes in the fifth round), in its bid to achieve destination travel dominance.

With municipal bragging rights up for grabs through Sunday (voting closes just before the stroke of midnight June 15), the Minnesota delegation is letting the trash talk fly.

 

Full story

June 6, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of June 2 (Video)

Senators kicked off the first week of June asking for reporters’ names, analyzing the “Wizard of Oz” and taking baths to clean themselves of sewer waste.

June 3, 2014

Anatomy of a Steve King Tweet

Rep. Steve King took to the Twittersphere Tuesday to denounce the prisoner exchange of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban officials detained at Guantánamo Bay, asserting that the Obama administration and Bergdahl were working for al-Qaida.

To understand and appreciate the Iowa Republican’s tweet, you have to break down all the subtle complexities, all the puzzle pieces that King rammed together.

 

He begins with a hashtag. And not a common one. Full story

By Matt Fuller Posted at 3:58 p.m.
Drama, FightingWords

Kids Sway the Darndest Things

“A 4-year-old ‘lobbyist’ just handed this to me in Dirksen,” a colleague relayed via email after crossing paths with the pint-sized influence peddler over in the Senate office buildings.

Kids Sway the Darndest Things

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

The combative sentiment stamped across the narrow strip of campaign literature is the latest rallying cry adopted by the left-leaning ladies behind the MomsRising movement. Group members are on Capitol Hill today beating the drum for U.S. Surgeon General nominee Dr. Vivek H. Murthy.

June 2, 2014

Glenn ‘Mr. One Minute’ Thompson Conquers C-SPAN

Rep. Glenn Thompson is done toiling behind the scenes. The Pennsylvania Republican has somewhat quietly, yet rather effectively, managed to topple two of his chattiest colleagues in the race to total C-SPAN dominance.

Glenn ‘Mr. One Minute’ Thompson Conquers C SPAN

(Screenshot)

Granted, it’s only June, so there’s still plenty of time for other talking heads to get their rhetorical swerve on.

But Thompson appears to have the dedication, discipline and time-management skills required to carry him across the “Hey, Isn’t That …” finish line by popping up on must-D.C. TV more than anyone else this year.

As (only) C-SPAN junkies can attest, Thompson seemingly came out of nowhere over the past 18 months, knocking off perennial camera hogs Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, and Ted Poe, R-Texas, by amassing 155 onscreen appearances to their 136 and 124, respectively.

Full story

May 30, 2014

Jose Canseco Swings for the OPM Fences

Former Major League Baseball star Jose Canseco is done with being just Twitter famous. He wants into the big show.

 

The all-star slugger turned reality TV go-to dusted off his #yeswecanseco slogan Friday — you know, the one he used during his short-lived bid to unseat embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford — in order to lobby President Barack Obama for exiting White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s post.

Canseco’s Twinterview was short, but quite telling.

He provided insights into his:

Management skills

 

Full story

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