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November 26, 2014

Illinoisans Invited to Toast Statehood Day

The Illinois State Society is throwing down on Dec. 3 in the Capitol Visitor Center for Illinois Statehood Day. And any Land of Lincolners looking to get their Prairie State on are welcome to partake.

Illinois Republican Sen. Mark S. Kirk is expected to host the reception, which is scheduled to take place from 6 to 8 p.m. in HVC 201.

Illinoisans Invited to Toast Statehood Day

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Cmdr. Jess Porter, future skipper of the USS Illinois — a nuclear submarine in the making — is slotted to be the guest of honor. Kirk is a former Naval reservist himself.

If you hail from the state, or work for someone who does, register now (via the Illinois State Society page) to enjoy free food and drink.

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

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Congressional Hits and Misses: 2014 Thanksgiving Edition (Video)

With Thanksgiving around the corner, Heard on the Hill takes a look at the times lawmakers simply could not get food off their minds.

 

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November 25, 2014

Capitol Hill Cop Spices Things Up as ‘Three Sheets Chef’

Capitol Police Officer Terry Heffernan told HOH he caught the acting bug while in college.

If only the theater crowd could see him now.

Capitol Hill Cop Spices Things Up as ‘Three Sheets Chef’

While he spends most of his time keeping the congressional campus safe, Heffernan has also been actively pursuing any and every opportunity to perform since the 1990s. “Being a police officer is my favorite way to support myself being an actor,” he quipped.

That lifelong dream has led him to blending in with the thousands of freezing cold extras seen huddled around the National Mall in that iconic scene from “Forrest Gump.” It compelled him to take a shot in an almost Doritos ad. And it inspired him to create the demented instructional series, “Three Sheets Chef.”

“It came to me while I was ruthlessly hung over, sitting on my couch watching the Food Channel,” Heffernan said of the “a-ha!” moment that led to his satirical side-gig.

The extremely low-tech series debuted in late 2011. Since then, Heffernan and a rag tag crew — including a fellow Capitol Hill cop who handles editing duties — have cobbled together just over a dozen installments of horribly misguided culinary instruction.

“We haven’t really figured out what the purpose of the show is yet, but I’ll tell you this, we’re really hoping to get on HBO.  And I have a feeling the best way to do that is for me to say ‘cocksucker’ about every three minutes,” Heffernan, channeling his perma-tipsy counterpart, explains in episode one.

Sure enough, the wheels come off each time. Full story

November 19, 2014

Mark Pocan Dishes About Kringle

Square meals, schmare meals. Rep. Mark Pocan is more interested in circular arguments.

The Wisconsin Democrat expressed his love for kringle, an oval-shaped sweet, on social media, declaring the regional treat a “staple of any well rounded Wisconsin diet.”

A Scandinavian baking tradition that’s been carried on by Danish transplants to the Badger State, kringle features overlapping layers of flaky pastry dough historically stuffed with fruit or nut fillings. Modern versions include frosted rings run through with everything from caramel-drenched pecans (want) to peppermint-spiked chocolate cake (need).

Pocan told HOH he’s most fond of strawberry flavored kringle, though he’s open to trying new things.

“There are some good seasonal flavors like pumpkin caramel,” he said. Full story

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

Jerry Moran Brings ‘Under New Management’ Cake to GOP Lunch

Jerry Moran Brings Under New Management Cake to GOP Lunch

Moran with an “Under New Management” cake outside a Senate Republican lunch. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Jerry Moran borrowed a page from a fellow Kansan Thursday to celebrate the Republican takeover of the Senate.

The outgoing National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman brought a decorated cake for the enjoyment of his fellow senators to the Republican Conference lunch in the Lyndon B. Johnson room. “Under New Management” the cake blared in frosting, along with an exterior photo of the Capitol Dome.

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 4:09 p.m.
Food, HillSide, Sens

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

From the Drive-Thru to Congress: The Fast-Food Caucus Dishes

Apart from her immediate family — and, perhaps, the hog castrators of the world — no one appears to be prouder of Iowa Republican Joni Ernst than those she used to break bake bread with.

Hence the reason Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, rushed to congratulate the one-time breakfast-rush worker and senator-elect in a splashy ad in the Des Moines Register.

From the Drive Thru to Congress: The Fast Food Caucus Dishes

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

“Thanks, Joni, for reminding us that, in this great country of ours, your job and your life are what you make of them,” the head of the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. chains praised in the ad, after Ernst touted her biscuit-making past in her election night victory speech.

Her ascension to Capitol Hill follows a career trajectory familiar to the growing number of lawmakers who dedicated parts of their youth to slinging burgers and fries at various grab-and-go establishments.

Other members of what we’ve dubbed the Fast-Food Caucus include:

Rep. Paul D. Ryan

An aide to the 2012 GOP vice presidential pick confirmed that the Wisconsin Republican briefly worked at McDonald’s during the summer between his sophomore and junior years of high school.

According to his office, the former grill cook — “The manager didn’t think I had the social skills to work the counter,” Ryan told the New Yorker — gleaned plenty from the experience.

“Congressman Ryan learned the value of hard work — a lesson that continues to help him in Congress today,” Team Ryan said. And before being elected to the House, Ryan further honed his hospitality skills working at Tortilla Coast.  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

November 7, 2014

Pro-Japanese Politicians Honored for Their Global Outreach

While the rest of us spent the week fixating on everything that is wrong with Congress, the Japanese extolled the good that federal lawmakers can do by conferring one of that country’s top honors upon Washington Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott and Wisconsin Republican Reps. Tom Petri and Jim Sensenbrenner.

The three lawmakers recently received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star in recognition of their working relationships with the island nation.

Pro Japanese Politicians Honored for Their Global Outreach

Tom Petri wearing his Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star awards in Japan. (Courtesy Tom Petri)" src="http://hoh.rollcall.com/wp-content/uploads/TPorsa2014.jpg" width="445" height="593" /> Petri displays his Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star awards in Japan. (Courtesy Tom Petri)

“For a long time they have been making contributions to promoting Japan-U.S. legislative exchange, and maintaining and deepening the Japan-U.S. alliance through the promotion of enhanced understanding of Japan in the U.S. Congress,” Japanese officials stated in a release, adding, “It is unprecedented for 3 members of the U.S. Congress to simultaneously receive this honor.” Full story

Bend the Elbow With Northwesterners at Annual Beer Fest

The state societies for expats from Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington are once again taking over the North Hall of Eastern Market to celebrate their favorite regional export: craft beer.

The annual “Go West Beer Fest” is scheduled to take place Nov. 14 from 7 to 10 p.m. and will feature, for the very first time, signature pours from Seattle-based Elysian Brewing Company.

Non-members can get a taste of what they’ve been missing by forking over $30 — a fee which has, in past years, entitled guests to unlimited pours from participating breweries (Redhook, Big Sky and Deschutes).

According to one organizer, mobile vendors DC Slices (specializing in thin crust pies and fully loaded tater tots) and Dirty South Deli (grilled Andouille sausage and pimento cheese sammie, please) have been tasked with making sure that visiting bellies remain full.

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November 5, 2014

Election Night Partyers Drink It All In

Election Night Partyers Drink It All In

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Keeping tabs on the shifting electoral landscape is much easier to do with a drink in your hand. At least that’s what HOH took away from the spirited exchanges we encountered in D.C. on election night 2014. At a watch party in The Jefferson Hotel organized by owner Connie Milstein, guests were greeted with warm smiles and air kisses — and then immediately hustled into a faux voting booth.

Election Night Partyers Drink It All In

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“Now that you voted, you can go to the bar!” one of the evening’s bubblier hostesses informed guests who’d just finished casting their ballots for those they’d most like to see run for president during the next cycle. Full story

November 3, 2014

Newt, Electing for Some Downtime

With just hours to go until the Election Day buzzsaw officially rips apart half the nation’s hopes and dreams, candidates are hustling to sew up every last possible vote any which way they can.

Louisiana Republican Bill Cassidy, who is hoping to unseat Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., in what’s likely to be a down-to-the-wire challenge, was pounding the pavement in search of support.

 

 

Full story

Turned On? Tune In! Or Drop Out (Whatevs)

Turned On? Tune In! Or Drop Out (Whatevs)

(Screenshot)

Election night 2014 is looking like it’ll be a nail-biter.

With so many variables in play — Will the Affordable Care Act ultimately prove detrimental to Democrats’ professional health? Who will independent candidates caucus with on Capitol Hill? How long (and how many runoffs) before we divine the next Senate majority leader? — one might be tempted to grab a drink, catch a movie and perhaps wait for “The Daily Show” recap on Wednesday, rather than suffer through umpteen hours of wall-to-wall news coverage.

But that’s not how #ThisTown rolls, is it? Full story

October 29, 2014

Medium Rare Brings Fried Turkey Service to Barracks Row

Medium Rare founder Mark Bucher is importing a holiday tradition to Capitol Hill: staff will fry up — for free — any turkeys folks brought by his new(ish) Barracks Row location on Thanksgiving morning.

Bucher says he instituted the neighborly program back in 2008, and explained he has followed through with the meal-making assistance virtually every year since, though he noted he “took last year off.” His best showing so far: 120 birds dunked in a single day.

“We’re going to save people from burning down their house or going to the emergency room,” Bucher told Fox DC about his self-styled community service. This year’s deep-frying fest is scheduled to take place on Nov. 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Full story

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