- Ford Denies Smoking Crack
- Very Close Race for Senate Nomination in Georgia
- Welcoming 100 Sandy Hook Moms
- Bonus Quote of the Day
- Gingrich Warns Republicans About Overreach
Posts in "HillSide"
May 20, 2013
Human rights activist and actor Sean Pean greets Rep. Christopher H. Smith, R-N.J., at the top of Monday’s House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations hearing on the plight of Jacob Ostreicher, a Brooklyn native being detained abroad in Bolivia.
House lawmakers will dive back into the ongoing saga of unlawfully detained American businessman Jacob Ostreicher at this afternoon’s meeting of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations.
Ostreicher, who languished for months in a ramshackle Bolivian prison without ever being formally charged with anything and remains barred from returning stateside, has been the subject of two prior Foreign Affairs inquiries.
Both Subcommittee Chairman Christopher H. Smith, R-N.J., and actor-cum-human-rights-advocate Sean Penn, who will be testifying at the 3: 00 p.m. hearing in Rayburn 2172, have previously traveled to Bolivia to try and speed Ostreicher’s release.
Kids, you can go anywhere! Take a look! It’s in a book — being provided by the fine folks at the Junior League of Washington and their partner, Reading Is Fundamental.
At 10 a.m. Tuesday, the JLW will celebrate its centennial with an event at the DC Prep Edgewood Middle Campus. And who better to help out than writer George Ella Lyon and Ward 8 Councilmember and former Mayor Marion Barry? Full story
May 17, 2013
The third annual Lamb Jam, a gustatory carnival for unabashed carnivores, is happening Monday night at Eastern Market. And HOH has the skinny on how two of the competing chefs plan to woo even the most sheepish diners into their respective camps.
Tickets to the event, which is scheduled to take place from 6-9 p.m. and includes food, booze (craft beer, wine) and a butchering demo, are $60 per person.
Art and Soul toque Wes Morton is looking forward to mixing things up with the 19 other local chefs vying for the Lamb Jam crown. Morton expects to serve British-style lamb scrumpets, featuring lamb bellies put through an intensive three-step process (brined and smoked, picked and pressed, and, finally, buttered and fried).
Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar made for a fine setting for the Organization for International Investment’s annual Capitol Hill Insourcing Reception.
The staffers and business representatives who attended the Thursday night affair had the second floor lounge Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar largely to themselves.
The RSVP list broke down heavily on the side of congressional staffers, followed closely by dues-paying OFII members. Of the eight lawmakers on the list, only Reps. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., and Bill Foster, D-Ill., made it to the event — a bipartisan, if modest, showing.
Reception attendee Carol Danko, press secretary for New York Republican Rep. Michael G. Grimm, told HOH that between votes and allergies, her boss was tied up. Meanwhile, a staffer for the absent Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., topped off a fresh glass of white wine with the dregs of an old one between quips with her colleagues.
The OFII is a nonprofit business association that lobbies lawmakers on behalf of the U.S. operations of foreign companies that join its ranks. The organization provided every attendee at Thursday night’s gathering with a beer glass and mini bottle of spirits procured by Diageo, the social lubricants giant.
In addition to the party favor, an open bar kept the spirits flowing and a flotilla of heavy hors d’oeuvres, including grilled shrimp and mini crab cakes, filled bellies.
The star of the evening was Jonathan R. Otto, public affairs specialist for automotive giant Honda’s government relations office. Otto won the raffle prize, a weekend stay with deluxe accommodations at the Foggy Bottom Ritz-Carlton.
Her interest piqued by the latest Noshtalgia column, Sioux Falls, S.D., native Heather Fluit reached out to HOH about her epicurean Everest.
“I’m disappointed to see that no one advocated for Taco John’s in your call for hard-to-find regional food,” Fluit, who spends her days handling communications for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, shared.
The beloved chain, originally born in Cheyenne, Wyo., currently serves roughly half the United States, marshaling most of its resources in the northernmost and central states. The closest outpost to D.C. is in Athens, Ohio.
But TJ lovers needn’t despair.
Fluit and the rest of the South Dakota State Society (she’s on the board) will be doing their best to re-create Taco John’s signature snack, the Potato Ole, at Saturday’s 5th Annual Taco John’s event.
May 16, 2013
Updated 3:45 p.m. | Moving in. It can be quite the adjustment. Just ask the team of newly sworn-in Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., which was greeted with a press release sent out under the auspices of the new congressman with this headline: “Representative Mark Sanfrod Sworn Into Office.”
A horrified staff saw this — as well as an HOH blog post noting the misspelling and other snafus on Sanford’s official congressional website — and explained what went down.
“Rep. Sanford’s official website was updated by the US House without the prior knowledge, or consent, of our office and they have acknowledged their error,” Sanford’s office said in a statement. Specifically, responsibility for the error lies with the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer.
Sanford, who was sworn in on Wednesday, certainly is one of the most colorful figures to return to Capitol Hill in quite some time. But the release was more than colorful:
May 15, 2013
Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C., is obviously a pretty with-it guy.
He’s up with the baddest pop culture trends and down with all the things the cool kids love.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that when his own words fail to communicate just how important abstinence education is, McHenry would turn to the lyrical stylings of Lady Bey to help him get his point across … about a bill to amend the Securities and Exchange Commission. Full story
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.’s Wednesday grilling by the House Judiciary Committee was pretty tense from the start, so thank goodness Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C., provided America with a much needed “aww” moment during the hearing.
Watt looked happy while Holder and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., lit in to each other, not because he enjoys watching grown men fight, but because Nicolas Watt, the congressman’s 1-year old grandson, was snuggled on his lap.
Young Nicolas, it has to be said, is seriously, painfully adorable. This is not his first time visiting Capitol Hill. He’s been to his grandfather’s Hill office several times. This was, however, Nicolas’ first time overseeing the Judiciary Committee.
Corrected 6:50 p.m. | An earlier version of this report incorrectly identified the committee holding Wednesday’s hearing.
Lawmakers and their spouses sat down to a performance of well-known hits at a Tuesday night concert in the Library of Congress.
“We love music,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said of he and his wife, Kelley, who was also present at a reception before the concert. “I think one of the amazing things is to see the writers perform their own songs.”
“He loves to do things like this when I’m in town,” Kelley Paul said of her husband. “If I’m not, he tends to get sucked into his regular meetings.” Full story
May 14, 2013
Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Or at least the Defenders of Wildlife ambassador arctic wolf Atka? Apparently the House sergeant-at-arms.
DOW is hosting a Wednesday reception in Rayburn B-354 called “Conservation Crossroads” to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act. They wanted to bring along Atka because, well, animals are cool, especially wolves.
But the House sergeant-at-arms “put the kibosh on having a wolf in the building,” according to a DOW spokesman, so they’ll be hanging out with Atka on the “NE corner of Longworth Park” for those interested in seeing some wolf action. They’ll be there from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
We called the House sergeant-at-arms to see if banning Atka from Rayburn was motivated by safety or hygiene, but we didn’t get a response. Guess we were barking up the wrong tree.
American Craft Beer Week is once again upon us.
And a slew of artisan suds slingers will be pouring out their hearts and souls — and signature product lines (‘natch) — to lawmakers Wednesday night at a special Brewers Association-led reception on Capitol Hill.
The invitation-only happy hour is scheduled for 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building cafeteria (B-357).
According to an event promoter, members from both the House and Senate Small Brewers caucuses are expected to attend, although the invites appear to have been distributed to a much wider audience. (“Show 113th Congress staff ID and proof of age at the door,” the email reads.)
Sen. Patrick J. Leahy had a little time to kill before formally kicking off Tuesday morning’s Judiciary Committee markup on an immigration overhaul. So the Vermont Democrat vamped a bit about how much he loathes spending time in the bowels of the Dirksen Senate Office Building:
“I think when the Dirksen building was designed it was somebody who must have worked for Mussolini or Stalin,” the president pro tem spouted off as C-SPAN provided swooping aerial shots — incorrectly labeled as the Hart Office Building— of the cold, cavernous hearing room.
If your understanding of what exactly the Hungarian American Caucus has been up to in recent years is as clear as a bowl of paprika-spiked goulash, allow HOH to bring you up to speed.
The group, which was most recently led by former-Rep.-turned-Fox-News-commentator Dennis J. Kucinich, D-Ohio, is getting back into action in the 113th Congress with three new co-chairmen: Reps. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, Andy Harris, R-Md., and David Joyce, R-Ohio.
A spokesman at the Hungarian Embassy welcomed the infusion of new blood and expressed hope that the tightly knit band would help strengthen the cross-cultural connections (global security issues, economic cooperation, cultural expression) the two nations have fostered for decades.
And just to show they’re not wasting any more time, Hungarians will commemorate the 20th anniversary of ongoing relations between the Hungarian Defense Forces and the Ohio National Guard — “Cleveland has the second largest Hungarian population, after Budapest,” Joyce told HOH about the rock-solid Buckeye-Magyar bond — with a celebratory luncheon Wednesday in Rayburn 2358-C. Kaptur, Harris and Reps. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, and Michael R. Turner, R-Ohio, are scheduled to speak at the event, alongside Hungarian Ambassador to the United States György Szapáry and James J. Townsend Jr., deputy assistant secretary of Defense for European and NATO policy.
If all that sounds a little too dry for you, Hungary will also be strutting its stuff as the guest nation during the 2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival (June 26-30, July 3-7).
May 13, 2013
“It’s still painful.”
— A baseball fan from Montreal attending Sunday’s Washington Nationals-Chicago Cubs game at Nationals Park. The Montreal Expos left Canada in 2004 to become the Nationals.