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July 31, 2014

Posts in "HillSide"

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.

DC Toques Mix Things Up for Charity

Local tastemakers are scheduled to take a crack at custom cocktail creation Thursday during a “Chefs Behind Bars” fundraiser benefitting Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.

The debut competition is expected to take over the Liaison Capitol Hill’s rooftop deck (415 New Jersey Ave. NW) from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets to the glitzy evening — admission is $40 per person, and includes featured cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres — may be purchased via NoKidHungry.org/Events.

Chefs tasked with whipping up crowd-pleasing tipples include:

  • Alba Osteria’s Amy Brandwein (anticipated contribution: “Peaches & Herbs,” blending together peaches, infused whiskey and herbs)
  • Art and Soul’s Wes Morton
  • Bar Pilar’s Jesse Miller
  • Bibiana’s Nick Stefanelli
  • Cave Mezze’s Dmitri Moshovitis (anticipated contribution: “Melåni,” muddling together Grey Goose vodka, harissa syrup, St-Germain liqueur, lemon, mint and squid ink syrup)
  • Liberty Tavern/Lyon Hall/Northside Social’s Matt Hill
  • Pabu’s Jonah Kim
  • Sunnyside Restaurant Group founder Spike Mendelsohn (anticipated contribution: “Diamond Brady,” a gin-oyster shot spiked with chili-infused bourbon, sherry vinegar and brined egg yolk)

The chefs will be competing for both critical approval (seasoned drinks slingers Derek Brown, Gina Chersevani and Duane Sylvester will join a handful of restaurant writers in passing judgment) as well as general love (people’s choice award). Full story

June 19, 2014

DWS Sustains Hamstring Injury at Congressional Women’s Softball Game

DWS Sustains Hamstring Injury at Congressional Womens Softball Game

Wasserman Schultz celebrates the win. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Good thing the next Congressional Women’s Softball Game is a year away.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., tore her hamstring Wednesday night as she was rounding the bases during the annual charity softball game and will be sidelined for “at least a couple of weeks” as she undergoes physical therapy for the injury, her office said Thursday afternoon.

Despite Wasserman Schultz’s injury early on in the game, the female members of Congress went on to defeat the female reporters in a triumphant 10-5 win — taking back the coveted trophy after a two-year slump.

Full story

June 18, 2014

Hirono Shepherds Taste of Hawaii to the Hill

Of all the “firsts” Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, has accomplished since succeeding retired solon Daniel Akaka, we’re most excited about the inaugural “Taste of Hawaii” event she’s cooked up for late July.

Hirono Shepherds Taste of Hawaii to the Hill

(Courtesy Mazie K. Hirono)

Why it’s taken this long for our friends from the South Pacific to have the culinary stage all to themselves remains somewhat of a mystery.

“No one had ever asked before,” Sherry Menor-McNamara, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, said of the missed opportunity no one had apparently given much thought to before.

Until Hirono came to town. Full story

June 16, 2014

Tom Harkin, George Miller Score Cupcake Title IX Send-Off

Tom Harkin, George Miller Score Cupcake Title IX Send Off

Harkin, left, and Miller can expect cupcakes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The American Association of University Women is sad to see retiring lawmakers Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa and Rep. George Miller of  California go, but wants to watch them have a blast doing so at a reception featuring bubbly and gourmet baked goods.

The retiring Democrats will be feted on Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Kennedy Caucus Room (Russell 325) as part of the 42nd anniversary of Title IX. Harkin, the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee, and Miller, the ranking member and former chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee, are longtime advocates of the university community.

“Cupcakes and champagne will be served,” the open invitation reads. Well-wishers should sign their commitment to their team — Teams Free Booze and/or Sugar Rush — via the online registration site.

Teen Capitalists Demand Congressional Attention, Supply Dessert

Junior Achievement USA’s latest crop of budding entrepreneurs are looking to bend pols’ ears with prospective start-up plans on Tuesday. And the aspiring businesspeople are fully prepared to sweeten the deal by dishing out free ice cream.

JA’s annual “trade fair” is scheduled to take place Tuesday from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Hart 902.

Members and staff who attend the presentation will have the opportunity to pick the brains of more than six dozen teen problem-solvers hailing from Chicago; Atlanta; Philadelphia; Los Angeles; Denver; San Diego; Minneapolis-St.Paul; Cupertino, Calif.; St. Louis; Nashville, Tenn.; Tampa, Fla.; Springfield, Mass.; Lancaster, N.Y.; and Camden, Del.

Some of the moneymaking ideas on the minds of the would-be wheelers-and-dealers include:

  • Subscription make-up delivery (a la a lipstick of the month club)
  • School mascot-branded belts
  • Hand-cranked robo vacuum (battery-free operation)
  • Branded digital screen cleaners
  • Customizable bracelets
  • A website development school (Check yo’ self, ITT Tech!)

Organizers said Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.; Al Franken, D-Minn.; Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; and Reps. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo.; Chris Collins, R-N.Y.; and Scott Peters, D-Calif., have all agreed to give the projects a look-see.

Their reward?

Jack and Jill ice cream (with assorted toppings) and freshly baked apple pie. And they can wash it all down with lemonade or iced tea.

Exit Interview: Justin Harding

He may be back home in his beloved Beehive State now, but veteran GOP aide Justin Harding tells HOH he will absolutely miss the hustle and bustle — and occasional solitude — of life on Capitol Hill.

The seasoned House aide is following in his latest boss’ footsteps, leaving the side of Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, to serve as chief of staff to Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert. Chaffetz did time as chief of staff to then-Utah Gov. John Huntsman before striking out on his own.

Harding started his new gig Monday. Full story

June 11, 2014

For Team Cantor: A Spotify Playlist for Commiserating

Team Cantor is at the Tune Inn, drowning their sorrows and listening to ’90s and 2000s rock. So what does the sound of political depression sound like? We at HOH humbly offer this Spotify list of tunes to nurse a crushed soul. Or soul-crushing tunes. One or the other:

Team Cantor Self-Medicates to Tune of $6,500

Team Cantor Self Medicates to Tune of $6,500

Team Cantor gathered at the Tune Inn to commiserate. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Current and former staffers for soon-to-step-down House Majority Leader Eric Cantor flooded into the Tune Inn Wednesday for a semi-private shindig featuring some heartfelt sobs, a few laughs and lots of Jameson.

The aides assembled at the Capitol Hill watering hole shortly before the Virginia Republican took to TV to announce that he would be relinquishing his leadership post, but not his seat, as of July 31. Cantor suffered a bruising defeat at the hands of tea party candidate Dave Brat on Tuesday night.

Once the news conference was over, the commiserators wiped away their tears and immediately opened their wallets — ponying up $500 and $1,000 apiece in order to cover the $6,500 required to have the bar to themselves from 6 p.m. ’til closing.

Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 5:43 p.m.
DC, HillSide, Staffers

Other Than That, Mr. Boehner, How Was Dinner?

Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, was having dinner at a Capitol Hill Italian restaurant when the returns from Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary race came in showing the Virginia Republican had lost.

“No, you know the rules,” Boehner said when asked if he had any comment when leaving the Trattoria Alberto, which describes itself as “Fine Italian dining in a friendly, neighborhood setting.”

Boehner, in shirtsleeves and with his tie undone, was referring to his typical practice of not answering questions outside of a press conference. His demeanor was somewhat prickly, but not surprising given that he was being unexpectedly pursued after dinner by a few reporters after a stunning defeat for establishment Republicans. Full story

June 9, 2014

Drink In the Granite State’s Awesomeness on Wednesday

The New Hampshire delegation will welcome scores of home-state businesses — including a baker’s dozen of booze makers — to the Capitol Wednesday for the fifth annual “Experience New Hampshire” reception.

Drink In the Granite State’s Awesomeness on Wednesday

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats Jeanne Shaheen, Carol Shea-Porter and Ann McLane Kuster and their Republican counterpart, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, are poised to once again co-host the epicurean love fest.

The invite-only taste-around is scheduled to take place Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Kennedy Caucus Room (Russell 325).

Per Shaheen’s office, first-timers Ali Baba’s Wholefoods Festival and Treasures, Michele’s Sweet Shoppe, gourmet chocolatier Lindt and New Hampshire Mushroom Company are all expected to inject new life into the noshing side. Shaheen favorites Granite State Candy Shoppe and L.A. Burdick are safely back in the rotation.

Meanwhile, newly recruited beer slingers Great Rhythm Brewing Company, The Prodigal Brewery and Throwback Brewery will join the ranks of an already impressive tippling line-up scheduled to include:

We’re feeling punchy (hic!) just thinking about all the guzzling — ahem, responsible sipping — that lies ahead.

June 3, 2014

Kids Sway the Darndest Things

“A 4-year-old ‘lobbyist’ just handed this to me in Dirksen,” a colleague relayed via email after crossing paths with the pint-sized influence peddler over in the Senate office buildings.

Kids Sway the Darndest Things

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

The combative sentiment stamped across the narrow strip of campaign literature is the latest rallying cry adopted by the left-leaning ladies behind the MomsRising movement. Group members are on Capitol Hill today beating the drum for U.S. Surgeon General nominee Dr. Vivek H. Murthy.

May 23, 2014

Take a Hike, Ya Lazy Bums!

The Senate overlords would like for everyone to get out and about today.

Take a Hike, Ya Lazy Bums!

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Mother Nature certainly appears to be on board.

Take a Hike, Ya Lazy Bums!

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Enjoy the extra dose of vitamin D!

May 22, 2014

Picturing Life in Syria

Those curious to see how the other half lives — and by other half, we mean the innocents orphaned by ongoing insurrection — can get a sobering look into the struggle for survival in the Middle East Thursday night at the reception for “The Children of Syria” exhibition in the Russell Senate Office Building.

Picturing Life in Syria

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The reception, which is scheduled to take place in the Kennedy Caucus Room from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., caps a two-day run of the featured snapshots enjoyed in the Russell Rotunda.

Picturing Life in Syria

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The jarring images are the handiwork of a half-dozen international photojournalists working to chronicle the gravity of making one’s way through a war-torn existence. Full story

Hank’s on the Hill Woos Whiskey Drinkers

Our local Hank’s (633 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) is celebrating being in the running for a RAMMY award by offering up a special Jameson-spiked cooler on Thursday night.

Mixtress Gina Chersevani, potential heir to the 2014 Cocktail Program of the Year crown, assures HOH she’ll be shaking up “It’s All About the Benjamin’s” — a frozen drink featuring the aforementioned Irish whiskey, spiced sweet vermouth and atomized lemon — for only $5 (regular price: $12) from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. this evening.

The promotion is part of a citywide cocktail jamboree orchestrated by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington in anticipation of the June 22 gala.

Additional participants include:

  • Black Jack (1612 14th St. NW): Hosting a RAMMYs-themed carnival from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. complete with drink tickets, fair games, fried foods and raffles.
  • Bourbon Steak (2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW): This high roller is expected to dole out kifu, a blend of Hangar One vodka, Cointreau, ginger, lemon and basil, shaken (not stirred) and garnished with candied ginger.
  • The Gibson (2009 14th St. NW): This cocktail haven is going pre-Prohibition, rolling out classic concoctions for $8 a pop from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the upstairs bar.
  • Jack Rose Dining Saloon (2007 18th St. NW): The multi-level drinking den is spreading specialty cocktails all around. Terrace-goers can sip the Sao Paolo Sunset and Back Porch; Saloon patrons will be privy to The Art of Deception and Like Strawberry Shine; those who descend into Dram & Grain will be treated to Ode to Omaha and Skye High. Each drink will set guests back $10 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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