Another Hill aide snapped this pic of the auburn critter circulating with tourists right outside the Capitol. Again, nothing life-threatening to report: just a furry-footed visitor out for a leisurely stroll.
Should our pointy-eared pal ever get outta line, may we suggest putting Sen. Charles E. Grassley on the case?
The Iowa Republican is not only a seasoned farmer, he’s also an avid runner.
By the way, how about we name our new Capitol Hill denizen? Send us suggestions in the comments section below. And keep sending in tips/photos/video of any sightings!
Sen. Patrick J. Toomey has a message for the plucky, pint-sized star of 2007’s teen pregnancy dramedy: bundle up.
While everyone else in Washington, D.C., continues to obsess about the polar vortex poised to chap lips (and possibly worse) all over town, the Pennsylvania Republican broke the news that Ellen Page’s core temperature has already plummeted from our life-sustaining 98-degree range into organ-stopping territory.
Or could it be that he’s confusing the name of the award-winning movie with the capital of Alaska — Juneau?
Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., knew she would be facing a tough re-election battle this year. But she probably didn’t account for the latest development in the North Carolina Senate race: an opponent who’s tight with the Klingons.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Indian Trail Councilman David Waddell has tendered his resignation from the council in a letter written in the language of the Klingon warrior race of “Star Trek” fame, so he can pursue a write-in bid for the Senate.
So as not to confuse his political colleagues, Waddell included an English translation of the letter.
“Waddell ended his four-sentence resignation letter by paraphrasing a Klingon proverb: “Perhaps today is a good day (to) resign,” the newspaper reported.
Keeping tabs on all the shenanigans our elected officials get into is what this column is all about. And, as you might have noticed, there’s more than enough ridiculousness to go around.
My former partner, Neda Semnani, was a wiz at ferreting out amazing tidbits about blundering pols and sex-starved government workers. And I manage to stumble into chuckle-worthy happenings every onceinawhile.
But, as we all learned from 80’s screwball comedies, the name of the game is teamwork.
Which is why I would like to lavish praise on all my hardworking CQRC colleagues for always keeping their radars up for bizarre political behavior.
Our entire newsroom helps make this little column shine.
Here’s just a sample of some of the whip-smart reporting I most enjoyed reading this year: Full story
As die-hard HOH fans are undoubtedly aware, this institution underwent a paradigm shift earlier this year when my co-columnist and partner, Neda Semnani, took her leave in order to pursue her dream of becoming a full-fledged author.
(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
The indomitable yin to my sophomoric yang, Semnani approached each looming deadline with verve and aplomb.
Armed with incisive wit, a healthy amount of skepticism and a burning desire to crawl inside the headspaces of those who make their living from supposedly exercising the will of the vox populi, Semnani fearlessly probed those in power — and their often tragicomic associates — until she got to the heart of what was really going on.
I miss her every day.
Luckily, I’ve got these gems to remind me of how lucky I was to have worked alongside a true congressional junkie. Full story
House GOP leadership aide Doug Heye has unveiled his latest holiday card, an annual tradition that includes striking a pose along all manner of celebrities. This time around, he’s buddying up to Rob Lowe, the “West Wing” alumnus who most recently shook up Washington with his portrayal of President John F. Kennedy in “Killing Kennedy.”
Heye’s entry into the escalating greeting card wars comes just days after Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., loosed her Disney-themed correspondence on a quarter-million fans.
Holiday greeting maven Loretta Sanchez has become famous around these parts for dreaming up elaborately staged Christmas cards featuring herself, her family members and her beloved pets.
But her predilection for weaving political humor into the mix gave the Disneyland folks pause when the California Democrat approached them about having Mickey’s home figure into her latest holiday installment.
“It’s difficult to get Disney to go along with something like this. They’re worried about their brand,” Sanchez said of the monthslong negotiations required to capture the magic moment framed against one of the tourist attraction’s enchanting fairy tale castles.
To wit, Sanchez said she and husband Jack Einwechter posed for pics in various spots around the park — including a shot of them in a dizzying teacups ride she briefly considered using to tweak ultra-conservative Republicans.
Last year’s missive featured a cheeky take on all the fiscal-cliff craziness, while the 2011 salutation bore an “occupy”-themed punch line.
This time around, Sanchez opted for a purely festive tone. Full story
It’s been a whirlwind year for Sen. Ted Cruz, and while he didn’t finish first as Time’s Person of the Year in 2013, the magazine’s editors thought enough of the tea party favorite to compile the “highlights” in a video.
“Ted Cruz’s 2013 in Three Minutes” chronicles the Texas Republican’s most “upworthy” moments since he stepped onto the floor at the Capitol on Jan. 3.
From his accusations that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel was “hiding something” and his scrutinizing of the country’s policy on drones, to the length and levity of his 21-hour anti-Obamacare filibuster and his relative fall from grace amid the government shutdown, it’s clear Cruz made his mark in the year 2013, even though he couldn’t beat out the pope.
HOH is itching to see what the junior senator comes up with next year.
In the latest installment of the Roll Call series that examines fictional characters and who represents them in Congress, we look at our favorite Christmas characters.
The rules for Fictional Franchise go like this: We decide where a fictional character lives and then look up who represents them in the House. (See more here.)
George Bailey (James Stewart) “It’s a Wonderful Life” Bedford Falls, N.Y. Republican Rep. Tom Reed
Seneca Falls makes a pretty good case that the upstate New York town is the “real” Bedford Falls.
And so Seneca Falls is not just the birthplace of the women’s rights movement, it’s where Clarence earned his wings and George Bailey lassoed the moon and his future wife, Mary.
Clark W. Griswold (Chevy Chase) “Christmas Vacation” Shermer, Ill. Democratic Rep. Brad Schneider
“Christmas Vacation” is part of writer/director John Hughes’ 1980s anthology of life in suburban Chicago. He based his movies in a town called “Shermer.” Hughes spent his high-school years in the Chicago suburb Northbrook, which was originally called “Shermerville.”
Geography aside, “Christmas Vacation” also functions as a public service announcement against the dangers of using a storm drain as a depository for recreational vehicle sewage.
Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) “Elf” Upper West Side, New York City Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler
Buddy the Elf moves into the Central Park West apartment of his biological father, children’s book publisher Walter Hobbs, according to severalblogs.
But Buddy has connections to another New York City district. He commutes to work at Gimbell’s and in the mailroom of the Empire State Building in Democratic Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney’s 12th District on the east side of Manhattan.
Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947) Great Neck, N.Y. Democratic Rep. Steve Israel
Friend of Roll Call/Long Island native/Hotline Editor-in-Chief Steve Shepard weighed in with this analysis.
Per Shepard: “Just a stone’s throw from the Empire State Building is Macy’s Herald Square location, situated on the western edge of Maloney’s district. But in the film, Kris Kringle actually lived at the fictional Brooks Memorial Home for the Aged in Great Neck, N.Y., on Long Island. That makes Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., Santa’s congressman. And presumably Israel would also represent the bucolic suburban home for which Natalie Wood asked Santa.”
It should be noted that Great Neck is also home to Jay Gatsby and Israel’s 3rd District hosts Tony Miglione of Blume’s “Then Again, Maybe I Won’t.”
Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) “A Christmas Story” Hohman, Ind. Democratic Rep. Peter J. Visclosky
Writer Jean Shepherd set “A Christmas Story” in Hohman, which is a stand-in name for his hometown of Hammond, Ind.
Even so, the house used in filming is located in Ohio’s 11th. Democratic Rep. Marcia L. Fudge represents that district that is also home to Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn, star pitcher for the Cleveland Indians.
Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) “Home Alone” Winnetka, Ill. Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky
All sorts of crazy went down over one Christmas break in Illinois’ 9th District. The owners of the “Silver Tuna” McCallister household accidentally left their 8-year-old son at home unsupervised as a crime wave involving a pair of burglars named “The Wet Bandits” hit the neighborhood.
Like other John Hughes films, this one is set in the North Shore suburbs. Schakowsky’s 9th District and Schneider’s 10th District bisect the region. The movie was shot in an actual house in the area that is well-documented on YouTube and various blogs. The McCallister house is an identifiable site in the neighborhood and Kevin, like Regina George of “Mean Girls,” is most definitely a Schakowsky constituent.
We love the Internet:
Rudolph T. Reindeer “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” Christmastown, Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young
We interpret “Christmastown” to be North Pole, Alaska.
Christmastown is a deceptively cheerful name for the fictional village. Just about everyone in Christmastown, from Santa down to the reindeer calves, exhibits deplorable behavior and discriminates against Rudolph for what they perceive to be a birth defect.
It’s one thing for children to pick on somebody, but where were the adults in Christmastown? Comet? Rudolph’s own father, Donner? Santa?!?
Oh, they were there, bullying Rudolph right along with the children. Completely inexcusable. The ostracism was so unbearable that Rudolph was forced to flee the town with his band of oddball friends.
Oh, hey Santa! We hope that crow tasted delicious!
Given the fact that Hermey the Elf likely does not walk at a fast pace, we have concluded that the Island of Misfit Toys is a river archipelago in the nearby Tanana River.
As for Yukon Cornelius, we assume that judging by his name, he is likely Canadian, and thereby ineligible to vote in American elections.
Mike and Carol Brady (Robert Reed and Florence Henderson) “A Very Brady Christmas” North Hollywood, Los Angeles, Calif. Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman
In 1988, the Bradys reunited for “A Very Brady Christmas,” and the film took a dangerous turn. Mike, an architect, was called away from Christmas dinner after a building collapsed on two security guards. He, too, became trapped when he entered the building. The entire Brady clan raced to the worksite to keep vigil for him.
Carol single-handedly saved Mike through the power of song. Her rendition of “O, Come, All Ye Faithful” summoned the Brady patriarch’s strength to emerge from the rubble.
But the North Hollywood Brady House is only a stone’s throw away from Democratic Rep. Tony Cárdenas’ 29th District. The 29th is also home to Andrea Zuckerman, star-but-illegal student at West Beverly Hills High of the 90210 ZIP code.