Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 2, 2014

Posts in "Foolishness"

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 24, 2014

Friends to the End — Can Congressional Leaders Overcome?

Never mind what that bitter old grump President Harry Truman said about folks in Washington having to turn to pets for genuine affection.

A chain of obviously uncomfortable congressional leaders Tuesday proved once again that friendship is the only ship you just can’t sink.

The question is: who embodies the spirit of camaraderie better?

House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.; Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.; and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., gently swaying together during the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony?

Or Girl Scout Troop 16108 from Eden Prairie, Minn.?

We choose to believe they’re all besties.

June 20, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of June 16 (Video)

As summer approaches, members turned to flavored e-cigarettes, arithmetic and CIA analysts on acid to make it through the heat of the week.

June 18, 2014

Meet the Women Who Could Change the Softball Game

Meet the Women Who Could Change the Softball Game

2013 warmups with Donna Edwards, left, and Kirsten Gillibrand. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s that time of year again.

Trash talk is escalating, just as several dozen women are wrapping up early morning practices. Fangirls are making necessary arrangements.

It is all because the Congressional Women’s Softball Game is Wednesday night.

The annual event pits female members of Congress against the women of the Washington press corps, and it benefits the Young Survival Coalition, a breast cancer charity that aids women under 40 who are fighting breast cancer.

We hear, courtesy of two different press spying accounts, that members are looking strong at the plate during practice. 

“The members looked ready to go,” Bad News Babe/CNN political writer Leigh Ann Caldwell said of a recent reconnaissance mission of Team Congress’ practice. “Their batting was fierce, and their pitching was the strongest I’ve seen it.”

“It’s a good thing the press team has improved as well, or I would be scared,” Caldwell added. “We are going to have to play at our highest level this year to ensure we continue our winning streak.”

Get your tickets here(And don’t forget to fill out your Fantasy Softball brackets!)

Full story

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 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 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 2, 2014

Chris McDaniel Mississippi Voters Finding … Kentucky

Chris McDaniel Mississippi Voters Finding ... Kentucky

Which McDaniel is it? This photo was taken in Mississippi. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

He’s a young, conservative, Republican state senator from the South named Chris McDaniel.

No, not the one hoping to topple Sen. Thad Cochran in Tuesday’s Mississippi Republican primary.

This guy is a Kentucky legislator elected in 2012. And thanks to the other guy’s insurgent candidacy and a case of mistaken identity, this state lawmaker has been hearing from voters through just about every medium — calls, emails, Twitter messages, Facebook and even snail mail.

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

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of May 26 (Video)

It may have been a short work week, but members still found the time to discuss the pros and cons of pets using pot, their relations to Mark Wahlberg and the lifespan of Twinkies.

May 28, 2014

Long Live the Twitter Algorithm!

The professional friend finders over at Twitter must not know what to make of us.

Long Live the Twitter Algorithm!

(CQ Roll Call Photo Illustration)

That’s aiight.

We’re used to hanging with all kinds of folks. #nobodyweirdlikeus

 

 

May 20, 2014

Dave Camp Aide Extracts Reality Show From Dustbin of History

“Spymaster USA” alumnus James Brandell — aka chief of staff to retiring Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., to you civvies — is marking the 10-year anniversary of his brief flirtation with reality TV stardom by screening the pilot episode of the short-lived show Wednesday night at 201 Bar (201 Massachusetts Ave. NE).

Dave Camp Aide Extracts Reality Show From Dustbin of History

(CQ Roll Call Photo Illustration)

Brandell is resurrecting the British export (their version of the show survived for several seasons) in a bid to have a little fun while raising money for his latest Leukemia & Lymphoma Society campaign.

There is no charge to attend the two-hour extravaganza (think: drinks and chitchat from 6-7 p.m. and intense scrutiny of the unfolding melodrama from 7-8 p.m.), though Brandell would certainly welcome any contributions that arts aficionados would care to make.

“This is my kind of way of giving back,” the endurance sports vet told HOH of the low-key get-together.

Brandell originally made it his mission to stamp out cancer after his mother, the late Mary Ellen Brandell, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2008. He has since found another reason to keep up the good fight: his boss’ withering — but successful! — battle with lymphoma.

For those of you who missed the weekly nail-biter the first time around, the cult classic featured a handful of starry-eyed Capitol Hill denizens angling to enjoy just a taste of the spy game.

Given that no footage of the U.S.-based production remains in circulation — Brandell said a friend had the incredible foresight to burn a copy of the original The Learning Channel broadcast onto a DVD so many years ago — just imagine that this tense exchange from the U.K. programme was happening in a dilapidated cottage just south of Richmond, Va.:

In addition to Brandell, show-runners tapped Stephanie Whelpley, a Senate GOP aide who later worked her way up through the George W. Bush administration, as well as a certain then-tax reporter who may still be covering Congress today, to share in the pseudo-covert escapades. (For those who didn’t scour Tax Notes in the early part of the last decade, or follow other parts of this reporter’s un-IMDB-able show-biz career, keep digging.)

Do your part by drinking heavily (201 Bar is kicking back 10 percent of the booze tab to Brandell’s Team in Training efforts) while watching ex-Delta Force member cum “Spymaster USA” consultant Eric L. Haney put the would-be recruits through hell.

Former Lawmaker, Or Current? You Decide

We get that hanging it up after eight terms in the House must be tough. But ex-Rep. Leonard L. Boswell can’t seem to quit stretching the truth (facts be damned!) years after decamping from Capitol Hill.

Former Lawmaker, Or Current? You Decide

(CQ Roll Call Photo Illustration)

Not only is he misrepresenting himself as a still-sitting politico (strike one!), the Iowa Democrat is way off in terms of his now-nonexistent regional authority; your trusty HOH reporter resides in the land of milk and honey known as “NoVa” (strike two!).

Then again, parting is such sweet sorrow, and some have trouble letting go.

And he was forcefully retired by colleague Tom Latham, R-Iowa, during the previous cycle.

So maybe we’ll let these glaring inaccuracies slide. (Just this once, though).

By Warren Rojas Posted at 2:13 p.m.
Foolishness, Reps

May 16, 2014

Roll Call Trivia: The Answers

Compiled by Margaret Prothier

Okay, are you stumped yet? Last week, we posted the trivia questions from our Taste of America Roll Call kickoff party.

The winners (“Team Linked” — Oscar Santillana, Emma Chaiken, Linda Santiago, Amanda Kaster and Chris Averill) scored 12 points.

Here are the answers, did you beat them?

Full story

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of May 12 (Video)

Democrats offer to show their amendments if Republicans show theirs, Sen. Ted Cruz quotes Jack Nicholson and Majority Leader Harry Reid explains the difference between mirages and solar panels.

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