Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 24, 2014

Posts in "Freshman"

April 23, 2014

Mark Begich Wins the Parody Game

Conservative activists have composed a spiteful ditty imploring Alaskan voters to give freshman Sen. Mark Begich the heave-ho this fall.

The combative tune denounces the Democratic lawmaker, who is up for reelection in November, for lending his support to the  Affordable Care Act and presumably not fighting hard enough to get the Keystone XL pipeline up and running. “He needs to pack his bags and move to 9-0-2-1-0,” the song suggests.

As for as parodies go, the song is just OK. (Not sure even Weird Al could’ve spun gold out of the dour source material.)

Begich, meanwhile, seems to have no problem lampooning the political scandals (real and imagined) that have helped grind the federal government to a halt:

Another small victory for free will, indeed.

April 21, 2014

Miriam’s Kitchen Carves Out New Award for Chris Murphy

Miriam’s Kitchen is so impressed with Sen. Christopher S. Murphy’s humanitarian work that the homeless aid group plans to honor the freshman lawmaker with the inaugural “Mission Possible Champion of the Year” award on May 3.

Miriam’s Kitchen Carves Out New Award for Chris Murphy

Miriam’s Kitchen is mighty impressed with Murphy, left. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

According to a Miriam’s Kitchen aide, the Connecticut Democrat has made a name for himself amongst the social assistance community by championing efforts to expand services for at-risk veterans, improving the availability of housing vouchers for displaced individuals and delving into the nutritional challenges faced by those attempting to subsist solely on food stamps.

“The reality of homelessness isn’t something that most people can easily understand. It impacts our entire community, often in ways that aren’t obvious,” Murphy asserted in a release shared by Miriam’s Kitchen. “When federal, state and local policymakers collaborate with service providers and advocates, the solutions become very clear: chronically homeless people need housing. It is the key to helping our most at-risk neighbors build a better life for themselves, and it is critical to containing the high costs of chronic homelessness.”

In addition to headlining Miriam’s Kitchen’s Mission Possible Gala on May 3, Murphy and members of his staff are scheduled to help dole out meals at the main facility (2401 Virginia Ave. NW) Tuesday night.

Murphy’s first trip to Miriam’s HQ will begin around 4 p.m. with meal prep. Dinner service is set to begin around 4:45 p.m.; the menu for the evening is a chicken broccoli stir-fry featuring bok choy, mushrooms and braised greens.

Team Miriam’s Kitchen expects to serve upwards of 150 homeless during the dinner rush — roughly 13 percent of which are typically U.S. military vets.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 4:43 p.m.
DC, Freshman, Staffers

April 10, 2014

Vance McAllister’s Dalliance With the English Language

Sure, he’s canoodler-in-chief NOW. But just a few short months ago, Rep. Vance McAllister was just another tongue-tied candidate spewing out muddled policy positions on social media.

Just days before the special election that would help bring the lip-locking Louisiana Republican to Washington, McAllister hit his Facebook flock with this doozy of a diatribe (mis)spelling out his positions on family, the Affordable Care Act, immigration and the federal budget.

Vance McAllisters Dalliance With the English Language

(CQ Roll Call photo illustration)

Somewhere in the middle of that 340-odd word, run-on sentence (Grammar police, ho!) McAllister demands that the undocumented get with the program already and learn to “read, write, and speak English.”

Eschewing punctuation, however, does not appear to be a deal breaker in McAllisterland.

Online detractors, meanwhile, have a few choice words of their own for Capitol Hill’s cheater du jour:

Vance McAllisters Dalliance With the English Language

(Screenshot)

Full story

April 8, 2014

A Crash Course in Congressional Hanky-Panky

An offbeat observation by someone who sounded none-too-surprised to learn that Louisiana Republican Rep. Vance McAllister had been busted getting busy with a congressional aide got us thinking about whom, exactly, Capitol Hill playboys spend their time seducing.

“It’s always the schedulers,” an HOH reader opined online after perusing the tawdry tale of McAllister’s videotaped make-out session with district aide — and Facebook friend (social media has doomed us all) — Melissa Hixon Peacock.

A Crash Course in Congressional Hanky Panky

(Screenshot)

The Ouachita Citizen exposed the interoffice dalliance (both McAllister and Peacock are married to other people) with the help of a grainy surveillance video purportedly leaked to the local paper by another McAllister aide.

While Peacock clearly fit our conspiracy theorists’ bill in this particular case, HOH decided to examine the past 20 years of congressional sexcapades to discern whether libidinous lawmakers do, in fact, have a clear cut “type.”

Ex-Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif.

A Crash Course in Congressional Hanky Panky

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Object of his affection: the late Chandra Levy, his intern. Full story

April 7, 2014

Guerilla Artist Skewers Dems to Spark Breitbart California Launch

Conservative artist/provocateur Sabo is no stranger to mixing members of Congress and California, as can be seen from his mock-up of a recent Ted Cruz, R-Texas, event in Beverly Hills.

Guerilla Artist Skewers Dems to Spark Breitbart California Launch

(Screenshot)

But now that the Breitbart News Network has expanded to the Golden State, Sabo is helping mark the bi-coastal migration with a fresh batch of eyebrow-raising art.

The politically charged images, including one of a provocatively dressed and posed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., served as the welcome mat for the fledgling site, an act of aggression fitting with the anonymous artist’s MO.

“My aim as an artist is to be as dirty, ground level, and mean as any Liberal artist out there, more so if I can,” Sabo, who describes himself as a Republican and ex-Marine, declares on his personal website. He has previously taken shots at President Barack Obama and former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, but elected to widen his scope this time around to better suit the media rollout.

Sabo assured HOH, however, that he is not on the Breitbart payroll.

“Just consider me a fan of Andrew, a kindred spirit with a common mission,” he suggested via email. “My contribution to said ‘mission’ is to help Conservatives find their creative voice. I admit my approach is rather hard edge. … That’s just the way I like it.”

He declined to specify how many posters had been papered across Los Angeles and indicated that it’s still too early too tell which anti-Democrat depiction will cause the biggest commotion.

“The posters just hit the street so, I can not comment on which has pissed ‘Progressives’ off more. I hope they all equally tie their panties in knots,” Sabo said.

Democrats here in Washington, D.C., had no such problem picking their least favorite contribution to the arts — the rather unflattering image of Pelosi.

“To say the least, the Breitbart News ad is foul, offensive, and disrespectful to all women. It is a disgusting new low and would be reprehensible against any woman — regardless of party,” Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., stated in a release. “It’s no wonder the Republicans are having problems appealing to women. If GOP leaders are serious about their rebrand, then both their elected and Party leadership should condemn this outrageous behavior, call on Breitbart News to immediately remove the ad, and not continue to use this website as a forum for their views.”

Per Sabo, Pelosi was on his hit list because she is “a typical gun grabbing liberal who fights to insure only the ‘authorities’ can possess firearms that way they, the political class, can run over us anytime they want without fear of retribution from the peasants.”

The others drawing fire — “They all suck, some slightly more than the other but not by much,” Sabo groused — this time around include:

California Gov. Jerry Brown

Guerilla Artist Skewers Dems to Spark Breitbart California Launch

(Screenshot)

“Jerry Brown is back-wash. Californians were dumb enough to have brought back [him] from the dead; talk about a zombie invasion,” Sabo said of the boomerang pol.

 

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg

Guerilla Artist Skewers Dems to Spark Breitbart California Launch

(Screenshot)

“Zuckerberg is a tech-klepto who’s nose is waaaaay too far up everyone’s business,” Sabo said.

 

CNN personality Piers Morgan

Guerilla Artist Skewers Dems to Spark Breitbart California Launch

(Screenshot)

“Piers Morgan needs to go back home,” Sabo counseled.

Breitbart readers were, by and large, rather pleased to see their common enemies held up to ridicule and scorn:

Guerilla Artist Skewers Dems to Spark Breitbart California Launch

(Screenshot)

 

Guerilla Artist Skewers Dems to Spark Breitbart California Launch

(Screenshot)

One rabble-rouser even urged Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to take notes, but doubted the higher ups would hear her plaintive cries.

Guerilla Artist Skewers Dems to Spark Breitbart California Launch

(Screenshot)

Meanwhile, a left-leaning observer vowed to counter the visual offensive by coining a new definition for “Breitbart” a la the homoerotic connotation sex columnist Dan Savage affixed to former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., years ago.

Guerilla Artist Skewers Dems to Spark Breitbart California Launch

(Screenshot)

And while he may be persona non grata over in the House, Sabo appears to be in good with at least one member in the other chamber, the aforementioned Mr. Cruz.

Sabo reimagined the tea party favorite as an inked-up outlaw a few weeks back, and said the Texas Republican responded in kind. “I’m happy to report Senator Ted Cruz has a pair [of posters] and has yet to throw me under the bus,” Sabo said of his congressional fan base.

Cruz made light of the gritty depiction on Twitter, offering one small correction to the rather outlandish homage:

 

 

April 2, 2014

Coloring Book Chief Draws on Success of Ted Cruz Title

Really Big Coloring Books ® Inc. publisher Wayne Bell captured the imagination of the politisphere last fall by releasing “Ted Cruz to the Future,” an activity book chronicling the rise to power of  a certain headline-grabbing Texas Republican.

Coloring Book Chief Draws on Success of Ted Cruz Title

The kiddie book is such a runaway hit — “Amazon the company itself orders by the pallet. Several pallets in fact,” Bell gushed — that RBCB has rushed three more politically themed projects into production. Bell declined to identify whom, exactly, might grace the mostly blank pages (“We prefer not to tell, as we really do not want those being profiled to ‘see it coming,’ ” he told HOH), but did intimate that a handful of Senate lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are on the short list, while House members remain more iffy.

The new books are expected out within the next six months.

Having amassed six years of political workbook savvy beneath his belt, Bell has learned to pick his subjects carefully.

He published the debut entry in his burgeoning catalog of  “cultural event and political coloring books and novels” shortly after President Barack Obama clinched the keys to the Oval Office. Full story

March 14, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of March 10 (Video)

While members explain how to drive to Hawaii, put lipstick on a pig and which state has better ski resorts, Majority Leader Harry Reid still is not finished telling us about the Koch brothers.

March 13, 2014

Cruz, Booker Already Fussing Over Future Dinner Dates

Well, that didn’t take long.

 

 

Mere hours after they were photographed grabbing a bite together at Bistro Bis, New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker and Texas Republican Ted Cruz have reached an impasse as to where to book their next table.

Cruz , it seems, would prefer to stay away from prying eyes

 

 

Booker is done with chewing up the scenery. He’d rather focus on what’s on his plate

 

 

A congressional aide told HOH the political odd couple touches base on the Senate floor from time to time; staff reportedly arranged the March 12 sit-down.

No word on when — or where — any future rendezvous might take place.

David Jolly Fits ‘Right’ In

Newly minted Rep. David Jolly is already making waves here on Capitol Hill, bucking House GOP leadership the first chance he got.

David Jolly Fits ‘Right’ In

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

During his mock swearing-in Thursday for photographers and the press, the special-election-winning Florida Republican raised the wrong appendage, attempting to look like he was taking the oath of office southpaw rather than with the obligatory right hand.

Welcome aboard, sir! (HOH LOVES rule breakers.)

March 6, 2014

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

Here’s what the rest of the world is faced with when conservatives reach the “braking” point:

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Buckle up, folks. We’re all in for one helluva ride.

March 3, 2014

#FlipaDistrict Lights a Fire Under Peeved Constituents

Comedian Bill Maher isn’t the only one cracking wise about cleaning house on Capitol Hill.

Now that his “Flip a District” campaign is officially under way, “Real Time” viewers have begun firing off videos denouncing the lawmakers they’d most like to see shown the door.

#FlipaDistrict Lights a Fire Under Peeved Constituents

The candidates for early retirement profiled on the latest episode of Maher’s HBO show include:

Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas

#FlipaDistrict Lights a Fire Under Peeved Constituents

(Screenshot)

“Bill Maher, as one pot smoking atheist to another, I hope you’re not full of s— with this flip a district plan,” the plaintiff pleaded. Full story

February 25, 2014

Internet Confused About John Walsh, the College Years

Newly minted Sen. John Walsh is no stranger to academia, having bounced between three repositories of higher learning before securing a Master of Arts from the U.S. Army War College.

But if one were to believe the incongruous résumés available online, the source of his undergraduate degree is more puzzling than textbook.

CQ Roll Call’s official biography lists the Montana Democrat as having attended Carroll College (1984); he later graduated from distance learning-friendly Regents College (1990) with a Bachelor of Science.

Back then, Regents operated within the statewide scholastic network overseen by the overarching University of the State of New York. The school was rebranded as Excelsior College in 2001  — and we have not even gotten to the widespread goofiness yet.

On his campaign website, Walsh acknowledges the brief stint at Carroll College. He also, rather curiously, lists himself as having attended SUNY — the State University of New York.

The government-run biographical directory of the United States Congress does Walsh one better, not only placing him at SUNY but also bestowing bragging rights to having snagged his sheepskin in Albany.

While the five dozen-odd SUNY campuses do fall under the purview of USNY, the two organizational structures are not interchangeable.

Whether this is all predicated on a single, mistakenly transcribed character or an elaborate plot to rewrite history remains unclear. All we got from Team Walsh was a confirmation (“I double-checked with the Senator, and he did graduate from USNY (not SUNY),” his office relayed via email) of what we already knew.

February 18, 2014

Former Rep. Mel Reynolds Arrested in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean authorities on Tuesday arrested former congressman and convicted felon Mel Reynolds under suspicion of possessing pornographic material and violating immigration protocol.

Reynolds’ diplomatic problems, first reported by The Associated Press, are just the latest embarrassment in a short-lived political career dominated by scandal.

The Illinois Democrat was elected in 1992 to the House and re-elected in 1994 but never completed his second term, resigning in 1995 following a conviction on sexual misconduct charges stemming from an affair with an underage campaign aide. Reynolds was found guilty of misusing campaign funds and bank fraud two years later. He spent a couple of years in prison but was pardoned in 2001 by President Bill Clinton.

Former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., who last fall was sentenced to 30 months in prison for helping himself to $750,000 in campaign funds, had replaced Reynolds after his initial fall from grace. Democratic Rep. Robin Kelly won a special election to succeed Jackson in the 2nd District in early 2013.

Reynolds unsuccessfully attempted to mount a comeback in 2004, vying to unseat Jackson, and again last year, in an attempt to succeed his successor.

“The bottom line is my past is my past,” Reynolds assured Roll Call a decade ago. “I don’t wear mistakes that I have made as a badge of shame, just as I don’t wear all of my accomplishments as a badge of confidence.”

February 11, 2014

Tim Ryan Readies for New Arrival

Rep. Tim Ryan is beside himself about welcoming a new baby into the fold, a milestone event poised to take place this summer.

Tim Ryan Readies for New Arrival

(Courtesy Tim Ryan)

The Ohio Democrat has gotten a taste for fatherhood while raising his two stepchildren, Mason and Bella. But staff said he is “simply ecstatic” about adding Brady Zetts Ryan, his first child with wife Andrea, into the mix this June.

No word on how “Brady” made the final cut; a Ryan aide explained that Zetts is Andrea Ryan’s maiden name.

Best of luck with all the diapering, sir!

February 10, 2014

Rubio Looses Epic Smokescreen Regarding Marijuana Use

Sen. Marco Rubio sees absolutely no upside to clearing the air about any previous drug use.

But as he proved on Monday, he’ll ramble on and on about why it’s a lose-lose for elected officials to speak candidly about ever having consumed cannabis.

Fusion talk show co-anchor Mariana Atencio attempted to light a fire under the Florida Republican by probing the one-time tea party favorite about the burgeoning endorsement of medical marijuana at the state level.

“I’ll tell you why I never answer that question,” the father of four got rolling. Full story

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