Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
January 27, 2015

Posts in "Human Props"

January 23, 2015

Political Aides Pounce on Whatever-gate

Seizing on an opponent’s latest shortcoming is the currency of the communication director’s realm. But in an age when cleverly crafted GIFs or shade-throwing listicles grab more eyeballs than immediately deleted, boilerplate email blasts, it pays to have one’s digital way with the news of the day.

Someone in the office of Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind., recently did just that, juxtaposing the New England Patriot’s ballsy brushoff of #DeflateGate with head-scratching comments delivered by administration officials.

Political Aides Pounce on Whatever gate

(Screenshot)

The eight-question “quiz” is all about celebrating foot-in-mouth disease — a relatively common condition here on Capitol Hill. Full story

January 20, 2015

OK Go Aims to Help Drone Lobby Take Off

Is your office abuzz about unmanned aircraft systems? Allow OK Go to set your mind at ease about making the most of miniature flying contraptions during a pro-drone tutorial at the 9:30 Club (815 V St. NW).

Those interested in the eye-in-the-sky movement are welcome Wednesday to participate in the “Know Before You Fly” campaign’s star-studded rollout. The program is scheduled to feature a 90-minute presentation, followed by a mini-concert by OK Go — which utilized drones to capture the action channeled into the music video for its song, “I Won’t Let You Down.”

Full story

January 14, 2015

‘Spare Parts’ Perfectly Sums Up DREAM Act, Durbin Says

‘Spare Parts’ Perfectly Sums Up DREAM Act, Durbin Says

Durbin watches “Spare Parts” at the E Street Cinema Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

An uplifting film about four scrappy, Mexican teens who turned the tables on fate by winning a prestigious robotics design competition underscores the exact opportunities Sen. Richard J. Durbin has fought to provide for undocumented immigrants over the past decade, according to the Illinois Democrat.

The movie, “Spare Parts,” chronicles the mind-blowing journey Oscar Vazquez and his high school pals — a rag-tag group of grossly underfunded, would-be engineers — experienced after taking it upon themselves to enter a NASA-sponsored contest to build an underwater rover. Full story

January 12, 2015

The Band Perry Ready to Rock Congress

Lawmakers and staff craving Southern fried melodies Tuesday can feast their ears on the mini-show The Band Perry is expected to put on in the Capitol Visitor Center on behalf of the Recording Academy.

The Grammy-nominated trio — fronted by singer/songwriter Kimberly Perry, who shares the stage with her younger brothers, Neil and Reid — are scheduled to perform in the CVC’s Congressional Auditorium at noon, and will then hang around to discuss issues important to modern musicians.

“The event is designed to reinforce the value of music, as Congress considers revisions to laws that affect music creators,” organizers said in an official press release. Full story

December 24, 2014

Members of Congress Cut Anti-Drunk Driving Spots (Audio)

Thinking about hitting the road after knocking back a whole mess of eggnog?

This Greek chorus of sitting politicos won’t hear of it.

Full story

December 19, 2014

D.C. Helps Stephen Colbert Say Goodbye

Citizens of #ThisTown were among the pop culture illuminati sending off faux conservative blowhard Stephen Colbert on the final episode of “The Colbert Report,” all to a resounding singalong of “We’ll Meet Again.”

Along with longtime collaborator Jon Stewart and the likes of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jeff Tweedy, Cookie Monster and the dragon Smaug from “The Hobbit,” the chorus of well-wishers included:

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.

Full story

December 9, 2014

Biden to Burn One for Hanukkah

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. is scheduled to join religious leaders on Dec. 16 for the ceremonial lighting of the National Menorah.

Biden to Burn One for Hanukkah

(Screenshot)

The 35th annual holiday gathering is expected to take place on the Ellipse at 4 p.m. The gates are projected to open earlier to accommodate seasonal visitors. Full story

December 3, 2014

Cooking Stars Hold Pols’ Feet to the Fire About Africa

Culinary heavies all charged up about energy poverty fanned out across the Capitol Wednesday in a last-ditch effort to illuminate lawmakers about the importance of empowering Africa.

Cooking Stars Hold Pols’ Feet to the Fire About Africa

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The lobbying blitz was coordinated by ONE, a nonprofit that works to bring change in the global health and social justice arenas. The current campaign is focused on carrying the stalled Electrify Africa Act of 2014 across the legislative finish line before lawmakers put a bow on the swirling cromnibus package and wrap up their official business for the year. Full story

November 3, 2014

Newt, Electing for Some Downtime

With just hours to go until the Election Day buzzsaw officially rips apart half the nation’s hopes and dreams, candidates are hustling to sew up every last possible vote any which way they can.

Louisiana Republican Bill Cassidy, who is hoping to unseat Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., in what’s likely to be a down-to-the-wire challenge, was pounding the pavement in search of support.

 

 

Full story

September 30, 2014

Joshua Bell Performs Do-Over Concert

Joshua Bell Performs Do Over Concert

A lot more people stopped to listen this time. (Clark Mindock / CQ Roll Call)

 

Joshua Bell’s 2007 violin-busking session in the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station is the ultimate urban metaphor, a reminder to keep an eye out for beauty in unexpected places.

And, while the performance seven years ago posed the question of whether a world-class musician playing, unannounced with a baseball cap, in a busy Metro station would get noticed (Gene Weingarten’s story on it won a Pulitzer Prize), the follow-up performance on Tuesday answered, intentionally or not, a different question:

If the Washington Post wrote a story telling its readers that a Grammy-winning violinist would be playing for free in Union Station during lunchtime, would anyone show up, and would any of them say that they definitely would have known if they had randomly passed said violinist at rush hour? Full story

September 26, 2014

House Hopeful Dives Into Kevin Yoder’s Skinny Dipping Past

It may be old news in #ThisTown, but Kansas Democrat Kelly Kultala doesn’t want anyone back home to forget about Rep. Kevin Yoder’s embarrassing swing through Israel.

The second-term Kansas Republican made headlines a few years back after it was revealed that he, and a handful of other GOP lawmakers, had thrown caution (and, apparently, their clothing) to the wind just before taking an ill-advised plunge into the sacrosanct Sea of Galilee in August 2011. Team Kultala invested five-figures to dredge up the incident for this ad.

Yoder did the whole mea culpa thing. And he has, at least to the best of our knowledge, managed to keep covered up while here in Washington.

Related Stories:

If Kevin Yoder Had Heeded Peter Bis’ Advice

Take Five With Kevin Yoder

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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July 18, 2014

Mock Candidate Aims to Muck Up Kentucky Senate Race (Video)

Kentucky voters needn’t worry about hunting for Gil Fulbright’s name (at least that’s what it is this week) in voting booths come November. But they should get used to seeing his shit-eating grin over the next few months.

Mock Candidate Aims to Muck Up Kentucky Senate Race (Video)

(Screenshot)

Running the totally fake pol Fulbright (or Phillip MaMouf-Wifarts) is the latest stunt by anti-corruption advocates Represent.Us, the provocateurs behind last summer’s “stripping senator” show and the least appetizing power lunch in recorded history.

The advocacy group has, so far, raked in $30,000-plus to help crowbar Fulbright into the high-stakes standoff between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Full story

July 16, 2014

Courtney Stodden’s PETA Push Gets Tongues Wagging

Love her or despise her, Capitol Hill denizens were utterly captivated by having a nearly naked Courtney Stodden preach the virtues of a vegetarian lifestyle to them while shoving fake wieners in everyone’s mouths.

Courtney Stodden’s PETA Push Gets Tongues Wagging

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The platinum-tressed teen blew into town to draw eyeballs to the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals’ curbside veggie dog giveaway. The staff luncheon/exercise in political theater is meant to serve as a counterpunch to the meat lobby’s annual hot dog blowout.

According to PETA spokeswoman Moira Colley, the group rallied supporters to the cause by distributing around 600 not dogs — “They’re all soy protein and spices,” one cheerful volunteer said of the meatless analogues — to famished passersby. Full story

July 15, 2014

PETA to Plant Stripped Down Courtney Stodden Outside Rayburn on Wednesday

A scantily clad Courtney Stodden will feed alterna-weenies to Hill staffers Wednesday, performing her civic duty on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals by serving as the celebrity eye candy for the group’s congressional veggie dog giveaway.

The model/singer/teen divorcee is expected to begin dispensing the meat-free munchies — wearing “nothing but strategically placed lettuce leaves,” per PETA’s media alert — alongside the Independence Avenue-facing entrance to Rayburn promptly at noon.

“Veggie dogs are delicious and kinder to animals, the environment, and our health than artery-clogging, meaty hot dogs are. The choice is easy to make!” Stodden asserted in a release.

PETA has for years paraded around pro-vegetarian ladies — including 2008 Playmate of the Year Jayde Nicole and pin-up queen Vida Guerra — in an attempt to lure the epicurious away from the American Meat Institute’s widely attended annual hot dog lunch (typically held inside Rayburn on the same day).

PETA to Plant Stripped Down Courtney Stodden Outside Rayburn on Wednesday

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After poking around her YouTube archive, it would appear that Stodden’s anti-carnivorous advocacy dates back to at least 2012.

Full story

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.

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