Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 21, 2014

Posts in "Hollyweird"

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 3, 2014

Harry Reid Treated to Impromptu Saxophone Serenade

It sounded like Kenny G was visiting the Senate chamber around noon on Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid got a brief saxophone serenade from the president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, who bumped into the Nevada Democrat during the “GRAMMYs on the Hill” lobbying day.

Harry Reid Treated to Impromptu Saxophone Serenade

(Photo courtesy of David Helfant.)

“I whipped out my saxophone and just said, ‘I’ll play you a song,” saxophonist and vocalist Mindi Abair told CQ Roll Call. She picked a song called “Summertime,” which she said Reid appeared to enjoy.

Abair, who has toured and recorded with artists ranging from the Backstreet Boys and Duran Duran to Adam Sandler and Aerosmith, was visiting Capitol Hill with about 200 other recording industry advocates to push for legislation that would ensure songwriters and composers are fairly paid for their work.

Abair and other advocates had a full day of meetings with the California delegation. They were saying goodbye to Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., when they bumped into Reid outside the chamber.

They will be pushing for the Songwriter Equity Act of 2014, and perhaps playing a few impromptu serenades.

March 31, 2014

Maher Continues to Bait Grimm, Farenthold for #FlipaDistrict

Comedian Bill Maher still wants to #flipadistrict from Republican to Democrat, and on his HBO show on March 28, he continued to lambast two of his GOP targets: New York’s Michael G. Grimm and Texas’s Blake Farenthold.

“They got pisssssssssssed!” chuckled Maher.

Maher read a statement from Grimm as reported in the lawmaker’s hometown newspaper, the Staten Island Advance: “From the ultra-liberal new Mayor Bill de Blasio and now the left-wing, anti-Catholic Bill Maher, a troubling pattern is emerging where the most radical progressives in the country are coming out and supporting my opponent.”

“I don’t even know who your opponent is!” Maher crowed. For the record, Grimm’s likely Democratic challenger is Domenic Recchia, a former city councilman from Brooklyn.

“It’s said that you can tell a lot about someone by who opposes them,” Farenthold told Breitbart News. “In the case of liberal pundit Bill Maher … I wear his disapproval of me as a badge of honor.”

The Texas Republican, in a separate interview with KTRH News Radio, said, “I do have a Democrat running against me. Unless Maher is able to get him a lot of money, I think I’m okay.”

“I love it when politicians reveal themselves like this,” Maher told his audience after quoting Farenthold. “That’s the point of us doing this. That yes, you have a big wallet, and I don’t think in America ‘I have the biggest wallet’ should always win.”

Fourteen additional House Republicans will be nominated by fans via Twitter over the next few weeks, ultimately to be whittled to one candidate whose midterm opponent Maher will support.

Christina Bellantoni contributed to this report.

March 25, 2014

House Hopeful Brent Roske Mulls Congressional Council

House Hopeful Brent Roske Mulls Congressional Council

(Screenshot)

Brent Roske, the entertainment vet currently running as an independent to replace retiring Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., is brainstorming all kinds of ways to stay ahead of the burgeoning pack of contenders who’ve cropped up around him — including bringing some of them under his wing.

In a campaign spot shot somewhat on the fly March 23 — Roske swears it was done in one continuous take, with no teleprompter — the political neophyte builds upon an earlier plan to tag-team the job with Waxman, opening up potential slots on a “congressional district council” to the handful of fellow candidates he believes are most serious about the job.

Brent Roske for Congress (CA-33) - Commercial from Brent Roske for CA-33 on Vimeo.

Per the plan, a newly elected Roske would seek to convene weekly meetings with challengers he feels are most qualified to help him plug experience gaps, a roster that includes: former Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel (fiscal issues), former candidate Bill Bloomfield (fiscal issues), state Sen. Ted Lieu (district concerns), Democratic candidates Barbara Mulvaney and Matt Miller (policy issues) and fellow independent candidate Marianne Williamson (cooperative governing).

“Just to be clear, I haven’t asked any of these people whether or not they’ll serve on this council,” Roske said. “But I bet if I get elected, they’ll show up.”

Roske told HOH his original offer to Waxman still stands, but noted he had not heard from the congressman about teaming up.

In terms of televising his work day on the Hill — part of his plan to deliver an “accessible open Congress” to constituents — Roske noted that he’s not yet worked out all the logistics of bringing a “Truman Show”-like experience to Capitol Hill, but he’s fired up about giving it a go.

“I would continuously be pushing the envelope if I was told ‘no’ in any particular circumstances,” Roske said of his desire to bring the public even deeper into the political process than is currently allowed, adding, “What I have in mind … is a totally different animal than C-SPAN.”

His last plank, a weekly stump speech out on the steps of the Capitol, has a very “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” ring to it. Which, it seems, is exactly what Roske is going for.

“It would be brazenly patriotic,” he said of the rah-rah rhetoric he hopes to shower upon slowly shuffling staffers and wide-eyed tourists at the crack of dawn (7 a.m. Eastern) each Wednesday.

March 24, 2014

Maher’s Audience Targets Grimm, Farenthold

The first round of votes has come in: Reps. Michael G. Grimm of New York and Blake Farenthold of Texas are “fan favorites” — to be ousted from office in November.

The two lawmakers are among the total of 16 House Republicans who will be nominated via Twitter by the public over the coming weeks as part of political comedian and liberal firebrand Bill Maher’s #FlipaDistrict campaign.

Mahers Audience Targets Grimm, Farenthold

Grimm, with friend. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

Once all the candidates are narrowed down “bracket-style,” Maher will target the “winning” incumbent for defeat in the midterm elections.

Mahers Audience Targets Grimm, Farenthold

Farenthold (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Maher won’t be running himself, of course, but the host of HBO’s “Real Time” has plenty of money to throw behind the official Democratic challenger, plus a coterie of fans enthusiastic to aid in the effort. Full story

March 13, 2014

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Charity Work Crushes the Competition — With His Tank

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Charity Work Crushes the Competition — With His Tank

(CQ Roll Call archives)

Forget breaking mere bread.

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is upping the charity auction stakes by offering fans the opportunity to pump iron, co-pilot a tank and possibly chomp some stogies, all in the name of putting more money in the hands of After-School All-Stars.

Schwarzenegger has apparently owned the ground-pounding M47 Patton tank for 20-odd years now, but only trots it out on extra special occasions.

Keeping his youth-oriented athletic program going — the non-profit organization boasts chapters across the country, including an outpost in Washington, D.C. — clearly qualifies, as Schwarzenegger is contributing his time (“you’ll live like Arnold for a day!” the contest page trumpets) and the tank adventure for only $10 (single entry).

Whoever does win the all-inclusive trip out to LA should take comfort in knowing that their time will not be wasted: Ah-nuld has been on the vanguard of crushing stuff for decades. Full story

March 11, 2014

Barack Obama’s Turn on ‘Between Two Ferns’

With the March 31 deadline looming to shepherd as many of the uninsured as possible underneath the umbrella of the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama has turned to Hollywood for a little help, appearing on Funny or Die’s parody talker, “Between Two Ferns.”

During the deliberately screwy program, host Zach Galifianakis typically walks guests through a minefield of insane questions and uncomfortable pauses.

POTUS fared better than most, firing back at Galifianakis with scripted comebacks skewering the comedian’s film career and personal hygiene. Joke writers apparently had plenty of time to prepare; The New York Times reported that Team BTF approached the White House about arranging the surreal sit-down last summer.

The preparation was wasted on Republicans, who were, understandably, not terribly amused.

Rep. Randy Weber of Texas couldn’t help but challenge the president’s priorities. (Benghazi’s still at the top of his list.)

 

 

Full story

March 3, 2014

House Hopeful Brent Roske Is Having a Blast

Entertainer cum independent candidate Brent Roske has always marched to the beat of a different drummer. It looks like his bid to replace retiring Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., is following suit.

House Hopeful Brent Roske Is Having a Blast

(Courtesy Brent Roske)

“I got the last of my signatures for the nomination papers at the Venice Mardi Gras parade today,” told HOH of his festive canvassing.

Roske’s self-styled campaign has also included party cruises and a pitch to turn the seat into a tandem gig.

The “Chasing the Hill” producer appears to all about mixing and mingling. Full story

Senate to Seth Rogen: ‘Absenteeism Does Not Equal Apathy’

 

Senate to Seth Rogen: ‘Absenteeism Does Not Equal Apathy’

Seth Rogen, center, came to the Hill to advocate for research on Alzheimer’s Disease. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Actor/comedian Seth Rogen was dead serious when he blasted Senate lawmakers for presumably tuning out his testimony on Alzheimer’s during a sparsely attended Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee hearing.

 

 

“All those empty seats are senators who are not prioritizing Alzheimer’s. Unless more noise is made, it won’t change,” he charged on Twitter, posting a pic of the near-empty dais facing his secondary panel.

Rogen also called out Sen. Mark Kirk specifically, taking the Illinois Republican to task for introducing himself ahead of time but then excusing himself before Rogen had a chance to say his piece.

 

 

The shaming campaign is playing well on social media.

But the cold hard reality is: life on the Hill is just plain hectic. Full story

February 25, 2014

Priscilla Presley, Paul Williams Storm the Hill; More Celebs to Come

The latest smattering of fast falling flakes to blanket the area could not keep advocacy-minded entertainers away from the Capitol on Tuesday. And there’s still more help from Hollywood already on the way.

Actress-turned-animal-rights-activist and former Elvis spouse Priscilla Presley made the rounds on behalf of the Humane Society, stumping for equine rights and relief from soring.

Priscilla Presley, Paul Williams Storm the Hill; More Celebs to Come

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A tipster placed Presley at neighboring 701 Restaurant the night before, sharing that the world famous “Naked Gun” co-star broke bread for several hours with friends at the pol-pleasing establishment.

Paul Williams, ’70s-songwriter-turned-president and chairman of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, proved that he’s still a big man on this campus by tag-teaming pressers across Capitol Hill.

Priscilla Presley, Paul Williams Storm the Hill; More Celebs to Come

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Williams helped usher in the new Library of Congress exhibit, “ASCAP: One Hundred Years and Beyond” and shared his thoughts with lawmakers about music royalties.

Bono, meanwhile, didn’t make it all the way to the halls of Congress — sending, instead, 250-odd friends to share his concerns with lawmakers.

Priscilla Presley, Paul Williams Storm the Hill; More Celebs to Come

(Courtesy Ralph Alswang)

A tipster said the U2 frontman surprised members of his ONE Campaign by popping into town Feb. 22 for a brief visit during which he “thanked the volunteers for their time and dedication to the fight against extreme global poverty.” The pep talk must have worked: ONE aides from more than 44 states were expected to take 222 meetings with House and Senate staffers Tuesday.

And the celeb worship is far from over.

Come Wednesday, the Dirksen Senate Office Building will be the place to be, thanks to dueling hearings featuring a pair of Tinsel Town heavies.

Actor/screenwriter Seth Rogen kicks things of at 2 p.m. by joining ex-Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan., for the second round of questioning during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education hearing about Alzheimer’s. Rogen, whose mother-in-law has the debilitating disease, serves as a “celebrity champion” for the National Alzheimer’s Association.

Not to be outdone, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has snagged Academy Award-winning director — and the next in line to don Batman’s iconic cowl — Ben Affleck for a discussion poised to begin at 2:15 regarding peace prospects in the Republic of Congo. Affleck co-founded the philanthropic Eastern Congo Initiative in 2010.

February 18, 2014

Staff Assistants Warned: No ‘House of Cards’ Spoilers

Staff Assistants Warned: No House of Cards Spoilers

(JB Lacroix/Getty Images)

If there’s any truer maxim on Capitol Hill, it is this: Don’t mess with the staff assistants. Especially when it comes to ”House of Cards” spoilers.

On Friday when federal government workers were ordered to work, on a delayed start, at least one junior staffer was none too pleased about the circumstances. The aide issued a stark warning at 12:23 p.m. to colleagues on the infamous White House Tours Listserv: leak any details about the Season Two Netflix release and get the boot.

Here’s the full text:

I know a lot of us are excited for the new season of House of Cards and due to Snowchi being fickle with additional snow we can’t watch the new season at home.  So this is just a warning, anyone who mentions House of Cards spoilers in their emails will be automatically kicked off the list.

Officially, the Listserv is a means for office White House Tour coordinators to communicate and trade tour slots for constituents.

So, all of this begs the question: Did anyone spill the beans?

February 13, 2014

Paul Strauss Stumps for DC in LA

Not having an official vote undoubtedly makes it tougher for D.C. shadow Sen. Paul Strauss to stand out as much as he’d like around Capitol Hill.

Paul Strauss Stumps for DC in LA

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

He appears to have no such trouble on the West Coast, a powerbase the local pol has been cultivating for over a decade in the hopes of getting Hollywood to back D.C. statehood.

Strauss is planning another charm offensive Thursday night — that’s when he’ll lobby La-La Land at The Creative Coalition’s “Voices of Impact Dinner.” Full story

February 11, 2014

Ricki Lake Passes on Congressional Bid

Former daytime talk show host Ricki Lake will not run for Congress.

Granted, no one expected her to do so, but she is part of Roll Call’s ongoing experiment to bait as many celebrities as possible to run in the open-seat, west-Los Angeles House race to replace retiring Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif.

Lake (graciously) responded to Roll Call’s query on Monday night:

Additionally, film director Rob Reiner endorsed Democratic candidate Wendy Greuel on Monday.

Full story

February 10, 2014

Libertarian Conference Lands Pols, Conspiracy Theorists and Comics

The 2014 International Students for Liberty Conference is rolling into town for a weekend (Feb. 14-16) celebration of freedom, information-sharing and spirited discussion.

The annual gathering attracts students from around the globe but typically features homegrown speakers and performers who share the same passion for living sans restrictions. House Republicans Justin Amash of Michigan and Thomas Massie of Kentucky are scheduled to address the youth-oriented gathering, as are Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone, veteran newsman John Stossel and former Hill-staffer-turned-comedian Andrew Heaton.

Heaton, who made light of the congressional grind as bumbling Chief of Staff Elliot Clarice in the satirical Web series “Cap South,” has been tapped to do standup on Saturday night.

“The federal government is a large, slow-moving target, much like a solitary buffalo on opioids. I’ll be whacking at that some,” he told HOH of his plans for the gathering. But Heaton noted that his material is much broader than what’s typically wrong with Capitol Hill.

“First, I’m not particularly mean-spirited by nature, so I’d rather make fun of concepts than people,” Heaton said of his big-picture approach to joke writing. Sure, he might lay into Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. for getting all, well, Biden-y (“He strikes me as a genuinely likable person whom I’d happily get drunk with,” Heaton said), but Heaton would rather keep things more “conceptual.”

Plus, he can’t count on every audience being as inside baseball as those of us who live and die by C-SPAN.

“Since Saturday will be a group of international students, there’s no guarantee they would pick up on Chuck Schumer references or gems about Sheila Jackson Lee,” Heaton said, referring to New York’s senior Democratic senator and the Texas Democratic House member.

Not that he’s letting that stop him from putting the finishing touches on a new book of political humor — “Laughter Is Better Than Communism” — that he plans to unveil at the conference.

“Hopefully a few of the scholars will read it and further irritate their professors!”  he quipped.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 11:27 a.m.
DC, Hollyweird, Reps

February 7, 2014

Hollywood Producer/Charlie Sheen Foe ‘Mulling’ Run for Waxman Seat

Add television executive producer Chuck Lorre to the group of entertainment people jokingly giving a look at running for Congress in west Los Angeles.

The seat’s incumbent, Democratic Rep. Henry A. Waxman, announced his retirement in late January. The district represents Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Malibu. As a result, California’s 33rd is home to many movie stars and Hollywood players.

Lorre announced on Thursday that he is “mulling the congressional seat.” The comments came in the form of a “vanity card” he writes at the end of each of his television program episodes. This one flashed up on Thursday after an episode of “The Big Bang Theory”:

I’m also mulling the congressional seat recently opened by the retirement of Henry Waxman. Again, I think my complete lack of experience is a selling point. I’m also a big fan of incompetent government, as the overly organized ones tend to put people like me on trains to Poland. For this elective office I’m thinking I need a campaign slogan that alienates no one. Something along the lines of, “Send me to Congress and watch what happens!”

Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...