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January 29, 2015

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December 31, 2014

Spend New Year’s Day With Bob Ney

GOP leaders worked so hard to escape December without incident (Look, Ma! No government shutdown!), yet embarrassing revelations continue to pop up as the clock ticks down on 2014.

What better way to prepare for a fresh round of dirty laundry-airing infighting than to hear former Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, run his former colleagues through the wringer all over again.

Spend New Years Day With Bob Ney

Ney tries to get through the sea of photographers as he leaves the U.S. District Court Oct. 13, 2006 in Washington, D.C. Ney entered a guilty plea to taking bribes in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

To commemorate the 10-year anniversary of its Sunday night gabfest, “Q&A,” C-SPAN has been re-running some of the interview show’s greatest hits throughout the holidays. The Jan. 1 episode, scheduled to air at 7 p.m. EST, includes a conversation with the six-term lawmaker that fell furthest from grace as a result of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

The 2013 replay, which took place during the promotional tour for Ney’s tell-all memoir, “Sideswiped: Lessons Learned Courtesy of the Hit Men of Capitol Hill,” appears to be timelier than ever given the career-ending hit New York Republican Michael G. Grimm’s political life has taken in recent days. Full story

Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of 2014 (Video)

From food to Janet Jackson and mic drops to outer space, Heard on the Hill presents the best gaffes, insults and soundbites from Capitol Hill you just had to see one more time.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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December 30, 2014

The Gifts That Keep on Giving: HOH’s 2014 Faves

What a year we all just lived through!

There was election night drama, international intrigue and, of course, tearful farewells.

Keeping track of all the mayhem on Capitol Hill once again proved exhausting, thanks in large part to the concerted efforts of the following over achievers.

Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y.

The Gifts That Keep on Giving: HOH’s 2014 Faves

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The embattled pol is a one-man gossip mill. Full story

December 19, 2014

Officials Decry Sony Hack, Cyber Assault Against ‘The Interview’

Officials Decry Sony Hack, Cyber Assault Against ‘The Interview’

Head movie honcho Dodd criticized the North Korean regime. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The blowback against the “sophisticated actors” who’ve managed to muzzle the dimwitted duo at the heart of gag flick “The Interview,” has now officially swelled from general outrage to international incident.

Earlier this week, lawmakers railed against the abrupt shelving of the absurdist romp, but the administration continued to play things close to the vest. No mas. 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

Boehner Can’t Wait to Open 114th Congress

Like a kid counting down the days until “It’s Clobberin’ Time!” on neatly wrapped Christmas presents, Speaker John A. Boehner is absolutely giddy about getting the GOP-controlled Congress underway next month.

We presume Santa will keep tabs on whether House and Senate Republicans play nice in the new year.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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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 15, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of Dec. 8 (Video)

With holiday jet fumes in the air, Congress spent its final full week of 2014 on “The Colbert Report,” strategizing for bar fights and telling their favorite Dick Cheney quail hunting stories.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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December 10, 2014

Reporters’ Parsing Prompts Michael Steel ‘Meltdown’

Reporters Parsing Prompts Michael Steel Meltdown

Steel, interacting with the press. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The winding down of the legislative clock has everyone in the Capitol on edge — particularly partisan mouthpieces who feel the boss is being unduly grilled about end-of-session escape plans.

According to those present for the public dressing down, leadership aide Michael Steel lost his cool Wednesday after reporters pressed his boss, Speaker John A. Boehner, about the myriad provisions tucked into the $1.1 trillion train-ticket-out-of-town that is the current appropriations bundle. Full story

December 8, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of Dec. 1 (Video)

Congress kicked off the final month of the year brining turkeys, plugging favorite movies and crying on the House floor.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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December 5, 2014

When Shushing Folks Disturbs the Peace

A prominently displayed plea for tightly zipped lips has got tongues wagging in Cannon.

When Shushing Folks Disturbs the Peace

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The campaign to dial things down a bit is the brainchild of newly displaced members of the House Budget Committee’s minority staff; the congressional aides recently got uprooted from the basement of Cannon by ongoing renovation efforts.

The migration from secluded workspace to heavily trafficked juncture has proven more jarring than expected — hence the oversized request (“Quiet Please! Offices at Work,” the announcement reads) for passersby to show a little respect while milling about outside.

“It is a temporary sign during our transition to the first floor, as the stairwell opposite the new space is an unusually noisy gathering place,” a Budget Committee aide told HOH.

One House staffer bristled at the visual pollution, chiding the new arrivals for making much ado about nothing. Full story

December 2, 2014

Solons Follow Blues Brothers’ Lead

In a rare show of unanimity, House lawmakers Tuesday overwhelmingly agreed to permanently drive a wedge between Nazi sympathizers and future social security benefits.

Jake and Elwood would be so proud.

Roll Call Results Map: Results and District Profiles for Every Seat

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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

Stephen Fincher Catches Shrapnel From Aide’s Attack on Obama Girls

Stephen Fincher Catches Shrapnel From Aide’s Attack on Obama Girls

Lauten reportedly resigned Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Stephen Fincher is getting blasted from all sides following the departure of a communications aide forced to eat crow over the holiday weekend after lambasting the teenage daughters of President Barack Obama.

Congressional spokeswoman Elizabeth Lauten tendered her resignation Monday, after her digital broadside against Sasha and Malia Obama sparked a virtual riot across social media. Lauten’s electrifying screed incited equally caustic critiques from the Twitterverse, an online chorus that unloaded on her, former first siblings Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush Hager, the Republican Party and race relations in the United States.

Lauten eventually walked back her unsolicited evaluation of Obama’s child-rearing abilities, but it appears the damage was already done.

Her career implosion has been so great, in fact, that the Tennessee Republican who provided her with a steady paycheck is now having his own job security called into question.

Some seem to believe he’s complicit in the POTUS-shaming drama.

Full story

November 26, 2014

Relive the Horror of the Midterm Emailing Blitz

The political watchdogs over at Represent.us are pitting the greatest misses from this year’s avalanche of hyper-panicky, completely tone deaf, patently absurd fundraising pleas in a last ditch effort to duly recognize the all-stars of public relations suckdom.

Relive the Horror of the Midterm Emailing Blitz

(Screenshot)

The “ALL CAPS for CA$H” competition is designed to identify the “worst political fundraising emails of 2014” — a truly ambitious goal, given that the HOH inbox was bombarded with sappy requests from shameless partisans roughly every 0.23472 seconds during the run-up to Election Day.

“It doesn’t matter which party you support. Take one look at your inbox, and it’s clear that our elections have become all about the money,” Represent.us Director Josh Silver said in a release. “We’re launching ALL CAPS FOR CA$H to highlight the outsized role money plays in seeking public office, and the absurd lengths politicians are willing to go in order to raise it.”

The pro-democracy group has dumped the most misguided missives into a half-dozen categories, including: The Howler Award (UPPERCASE madness), The Richard Head Memorial Trophy (pomposity), The Chicken Little Cup (apocalypses for everyone!), The Buzzworthable-Est Award (crazy shiite), The ’Murican Patriot Award (long live the comments feed!) and The “I’m Not Mad, I’m Just Disappointed” Award (waaaah!).

Throw the hysterical hucksters one final bone — sorry about the whole losing-ground-in-the-House thing, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. But you may clean up here! — by voting for the worst of the worst from now until Sunday.

Related:

We Were Told There Would Be No (Fundraising) Math

Roll Call Results Map: Results and District Profiles for Every Seat

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