Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 28, 2015

Posts in "HillSide"

May 21, 2015

One Staffer’s Personal Connection to American Fighter Aces

For one Hill staffer, Wednesday’s ceremony to honor the American Fighter Aces with the Congressional Gold Medal had special significance.

Billy Benjamin, the director of IT for Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is the grandson of Ace Carl Rieman. “Well, I recently came to learn that one of Carl’s grandsons works for me.  His name is Billy Benjamin.  Billy is in charge of our technology — when I can’t get my iPhone to work, he gets the call.  He’s a good guy … big Washington Redskins fan, but we can forgive him for that,” Boehner said at the ceremony,” after recounting the late Rieman’s exploits in the Pacific theater.

“It’s through Billy’s perspective that we can understand why this medal is so important,” Boehner added.

Full story

By Megan Evans Posted at 3:44 p.m.
HillSide

Conservatives Take a Break From Chick-fil-A

Some things belong to each other. Chocolate and peanut butter, as the good people at Reese’s point out. A sad guitar and a hardshell case, as Bright Eyes notes. And, as HOH asserts, a monthly discussion with House conservatives and Chick-fil-A.

But all good panel discussion food pairings must come to an end — or something like that. Full story

By Matt Fuller Posted at 5 a.m.
Food, HillSide

May 19, 2015

Steve Israel Assembling Writer’s Caucus

Lawmaker/novelist Steve Israel wants to bring other pols into the publishing fold. And he’s already got around a dozen takers who have signed on to attend Wednesday’s inaugural meeting of the Congressional Writers Caucus.

Steve Israel Assembling Writer’s Caucus

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The New York Democrat — who famously pounded out his critically acclaimed political satire on his iPhone — is excited, staff told HOH, about swapping stories with other “born communicators” on a semi-regular basis.

“Rep. Israel wanted to provide members with a forum to enhance their writing skills and learn from other authors and publishers about the industry,” an Israel aide said of the vision for the group, adding that Israel is most interested in talking to other budding authors about what they’re working on. Full story

Existentialists Watch, Wonder in Digital Cloakroom

Existentialists Watch, Wonder in Digital Cloakroom

The Senate’s real-life waiting rooms have gone digital with the Cloakroom service. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Capitol Hill can be a confusing place, even for insiders.

Just ask the growing army of perplexed public servants trying to figure out what it’s all about on the nascent sounding board/app Cloakroom.

According to Co-Founder Ted Henderson, the anonymous service has, over the past few months, garnered a respectable following among the glue that keeps the legislative branch together.

Sure, some disgruntled staffers use it to talk smack. Full story

May 15, 2015

Using Rachmaninoff to Send a Message

Using Rachmaninoff to Send a Message

Royce advocated for a no-fly zone at a Thursday event to bring awareness to the Syrian refugees in Turkey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Like many teenage boys, Tambi Cimuk visited the Lincoln Memorial and the White House on his first visit to Washington. Unlike most teenagers, he also played Rachmaninoff in the Rayburn Foyer.

“Oh my God, yeah, he is very unbelievable,” Cimuk said when asked if Rachmaninoff is his favorite composer. “Russian music is special, it’s very powerful.”

The 16-year-old Cimuk was just one part of the “Safe Harbor Turkey: Restoring Hope for Syrian Refugees” event Thursday, but he certainly provided the highlight, performances of Mozart’s Sonata in C Major K. 330, Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in C Sharp Minor and the famously challenging Flight of the Bumblebee by Rimsky-Korsakov.

Arranged by the Embassy of Turkey, the event featured photos, food and the famous piano prodigy to draw attention to the 1.7 million Syrian refugees in Turkey. Full story

May 14, 2015

Camilla Captivates Capitol Hill (Video)

Yes, watching a grown man scootch in next to a disinterested pig for a selfie is funny.

But there’s something absolutely Zen about watching a wired mammal barrel through a ball pit.

“It’s enrichment. It’s just for fun,” an animal wrangler explained to the army of children transfixed by the sight of an up-and-at-’em armadillo plowing through a multi-colored obstacle course.

Full story

GOP Aide Rises to the (Special) Occasion

GOP Aide Rises to the (Special) Occasion

(Christine Martin/Instagram)

For the most part, the experimental projects self-styled baker Christine Martin conjures up on any given weekend wind up in the bellies of her office mates.

Had the itch. #chocolate #caramel #seasalt #staytuned #sunday #cupcakes

A photo posted by Politics to Pastries (@politicstopastries) on

But there was that time one of her homespun treats made its way to the dinner table of the highest-ranking Republican in the House. Quite an accomplishment for a budding pastry artist. Full story

May 13, 2015

Hillite None Too Pleased About Corporate Creep

One member of the Capitol Hill community finds nothing convenient about having retail giants systematically picking off hospitality providers that have been around for decades.

Ted Arthur, a member of the New Hill East clique on Facebook, took to social media Wednesday to rail against losing yet another neighborhood institution.

The revelation that drew his ire? A write-up by Capitol Hill Corner chronicling the impending demise of, among other things, Las Placitas restaurant. Full story

Rayburn — Where the Wild Things Are

Animal caretakers from around the country Wednesday will once again show off their furry/scaly/creepy/crawly charges during the annual Association of Zoos and Aquariums congressional reception.

Rayburn — Where the Wild Things Are

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The AZA’s lobbying visit, which is expected to overrun the Rayburn Cafeteria from 6 to 8 p.m., provides lawmakers and staff the rare opportunity to get up close and personal with exotic species. Full story

May 12, 2015

Polish Group to Fete Mikulski, Kaptur

Members of the American Polish Advisory Council are expected to honor Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, and retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., during an inaugural reception Tuesday on Capitol Hill. Full story

Paying Tribute to Global Peacekeepers

World leaders are expected to honor the efforts of humanitarian security forces during a government-backed “Thank a UN Peacekeeper” reception Wednesday.

Per the invitation, Reps. David Cicilline, D-R.I., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., have signed on as co-hosts of the semi-regular event.

Paying Tribute to Global Peacekeepers

(Courtesy United Nations Association of the USA)

The festivities are scheduled to take place in the south meeting room of the Capitol Visitor Center from 6 to 8 p.m.

“The Big Bang Theory” vet Aarti Mann is lending some star power to the get-together, which this year is focusing on India’s longstanding contribution to worldwide relief efforts.

Paying Tribute to Global Peacekeepers

(Screenshot)

Officials from various non-profits and business associations will also be on hand to deal with all the shoptalk.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

May 8, 2015

Breakfast in the Capital, Shake Shack Style

Mornings at Union Station just got a bit brighter.

Shake Shack, the New York City-based burger, hot dog and shake shop, will start offering breakfast at the Union Station location on Monday, May 11th. The expanded offerings are expected to be available Monday through Friday from 7 to 10:30 a.m.

Breakfast in the Capital, Shake Shack Style

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

This is the third Shake Shack location to offer breakfast and the first in the D.C. area; Shake Shacks at JFK Airport and Grand Central Station in New York also have the option.

The expanded carte features breakfast offerings forged from: Martin’s potato rolls (same as on the burgers), Pat LaFrieda sausage, applewood-smoked bacon and cage-free eggs supplied by Niman Ranch, as well as American cheese.

Stumptown cold brew coffee (unadulterated stuff comes in stubby bottles, the half-and-half doctored variety in cartons) and fresh-squeezed orange juice round out the new recruits. Full story

Exit Interview: Amie Woeber Loves Loose Cannons

It sounds like departing congressional staffer Amie Woeber has, following a decade of government service, finally come to terms with the idea of decamping from the Hill.

Exit Interview: Amie Woeber Loves Loose Cannons

From back in the day, from left, Woeber and fellow Hill Climbers Charlie Keller, Carol Beck and Andrew Kovalcin. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Quitting all the chaos, however, may require intensive therapy.

The House Republican aide is leaving the Capitol’s confines to take a job as Washington government relations manager at PayPal. Her last day as legislative director for Rep. Sean P. Duffy, R-Wis., is Friday, and she says she is grateful for having worked alongside some of the legislative branch’s more colorful characters. Full story

May 5, 2015

Rocket Man Touching Down on Capitol Hill

Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter — and honorary knight! — Sir Elton John kicks off his multi-day stand here on Capitol Hill Tuesday with an invite-only meet-and-greet over in the Capitol Visitor Center.

Rocket Man Touching Down on Capitol Hill

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The multi-talented musician cum philanthropist is scheduled to co-host a reception organized by his AIDS Foundation and fellow rocker Bono’s globally minded ONE Campaign. Presidential hopeful Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., are cosponsoring the event, which is scheduled to take place in SVC 203-203 from 5:45 to 7:15 p.m.

Those not VIP enough to mingle with the in-crowd will have to wait till Wednesday morning to do their celeb stalking.

John is scheduled to testify about about global health programs before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs (Dirksen 124) at 10 a.m.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

Chow Down for Charity at Biscuit Bash

Hump day goes humanitarian this week with the help of the real American heroes: biscuit sandwich-crafting toques.

Chow Down for Charity at Biscuit Bash

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Art and Soul restaurant has invited local chefs to compete in the second annual Biscuit Bash. The friendly cook-off, scheduled to take place Wednesday on the Art and Soul patio from 6 to 8 p.m., doubles as a fundraiser for DC Central Kitchen and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. Full story

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