Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 4, 2015

Posts in "Nationwide"

October 1, 2015

Noshtalgia: Relishing the Past One Arepa at a Time

A “Peluda” arepa, stuffed with shredded beef and shaved gouda, served at La Caraquena in Falls Church, Va. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

A “peluda” arepa, stuffed with shredded beef and shaved gouda, served at La Caraquena in Falls Church, Va. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The man who taught me how to eat was not a trained chef.

But the late Gustavo Rojas did enjoy spending time in the kitchen.

He strived to instill in his children an appreciation for home-cooked meals, family dinners and, perhaps most of all, the cultural traditions that bound us to our ancestors.

Full story

September 18, 2015

Web Crawlers Project Wonky Biases Across America

Real-life rocket scientist Andrew Rader posed a simple question to Google: “Why is [insert state name here] so …” in order to observe how the search engine would fill in the superlative blanks based on previous interrogatories.

The feedback proved somewhat frightening.

Full story

Rand Paul Campaign Staffer Accuses Marco Rubio Aide of Assault

John Patrick Yob, a campaign strategist working on Kentucky Republican Rand Paul’s presidential bid, announced Friday via social media that he was punched in the face by Rich Beeson, deputy campaign manager for Sen. Marco Rubio, and that he was formally pressing charges.

Per media reports, the ideological scrap took place Thursday evening at Horn’s Gaslight Bar & Restaurant on Mackinac Island. Full story

September 9, 2015

Chellie Pingree Insists Divorce Won’t Cramp Nebo Lodge’s Style

Her separation from billionaire spouse Donald Sussman will in no way mean lights out for Nebo Lodge, an aide to Rep. Chellie Pingree assured HOH Wednesday.

chellie pingree

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Maine Democrat established the gourmet retreat more than a decade ago and has since assembled a closely knit group — including renowned chef Amanda Hallowell and Pingree’s eldest daughter, Hannah, who serves as general manager — to oversee the homey establishment.

Per Team Pingree, all of that is expected to remain undisturbed, even after the four-term lawmaker disentangles herself from her husband’s myriad financial holdings.

“Rep. Pingree owns Nebo and nothing will change. They’ve got a great team on North Haven and it will continue to operate as it has,” Pingree spokesman Willy Ritch stated.

This hired mouth may have to race back up north next summer, just to make sure everything remains on the up and up.


Chellie Pingree, Donald Sussman Parting Company

Getting Our Fill of Vacationland

The Maine Attraction: Getting a Taste of the Chellie Pingree Experience

See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call’s new video site.

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Alterna-Talk Shows Take on the Old Guard

Two self-styled interviewers are ready for their close-ups, as both “Roske on Politics” and “The Open Mind” take to the D.C. airwaves to freshen up the political conversation.

One-time House hopeful Brent Roske in late 2014 went all-in on covering campaigns, ditching sunny Southern California for snowy Des Moines to move closer to the electoral action. His prescient change in latitude now appears to be paying off in spades: The “Chasing the Hill” vet has garnered an Emmy nomination for his video chats with visiting candidates and others. Full story

September 8, 2015

Chellie Pingree, Donald Sussman Parting Company

Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, announced Tuesday she has split from her financier spouse, Donald Sussman — a break that has so far stymied her administrative obligations and may still impact her hospitality holdings.

chellie pingree

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Donald and I are sorry to say that we have separated and have decided to get divorced. It is a very amicable and truly mutual decision,” Pingree said in a news release. “It is sad for both of us but we continue to have the utmost respect for each other. This is the only statement either of us will have on this private family matter.”

Per her office, the couple wed on June 18, 2011. Full story

Congress Resumes, Twitter Swells

It’s back to school work time here on Capitol Hill, and lawmakers from around the country are flocking to social media to reaffirm their commitment to taking care of the people’s business.

The congressional to-do list runneth over this month, so pols need to hit the ground running post-recess if they hope to avoid another confidence-shaking government shutdown.

Full story

September 4, 2015

John Lewis Aims to Slay ’Em at Dragon Con

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Civil rights leader/graphic novelist Rep. John Lewis this weekend is lending some local star power to Dragon Con.

Congressional aide and “March” co-author Andrew Aydin tells HOH the Georgia Democrat is expected to pull double duty at Hotlanta’s fantasy fest, signing on to help welcome “Star Trek” vet Nichelle Nichols Saturday at the Guest of Honor Awards Banquet before settling in Sunday afternoon for a panel discussion and autograph session. Full story

September 3, 2015

Gay Marriage Tussle Not David Bunning’s First Brush With Infamy

David Bunning, and his wife Kay, talk to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, back to camera, before his nomination hearing before a the Senate Judiciary Committee for District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Bunning, and his wife Kay, talk to Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, before his nomination hearing for the federal bench. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning’s decision Thursday to punish Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis for refusing to issue marriage licenses she maintains conflict with her religious beliefs isn’t the only time the legal professional has been cast in an unflattering light.

Per media reports, protestors were stunned by Bunning’s brushing aside — “One minister called the ruling unjust, saying religious freedom had been trampled on,” according to Gannett scribes — of Davis’ opposition to same-sex coupling.

But the youngest child of former Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., is unlikely to shrink from the negative attention.

His nomination in 2001 to the federal bench came with mixed reviews from peers at the American Bar Association.

But five months after President George W. Bush peered into this soul and vouched for the guy, Senate Judiciary Committee members saw fit to shepherd baby Bunning through.

See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call’s new video site.

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September 2, 2015

Prayer Leader Believes John Fleming Is Half Right About Seeking God’s Help

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Pray at the Pump founder Rocky Twyman is hopeful Louisiana Republican John Fleming will not only follow through on a recent pledge to push for nationwide faith healing, but will augment that effort by embracing other humbling practices.

The House Freedom Caucus co-founder floated the idea Tuesday of petitioning The Almighty for assistance in quelling violence visited upon law enforcement officials in a letter addressed to President Barack Obama. Full story

August 31, 2015

Sticking It to the Man at the Minnesota State Fair

Has politics gone to seed at the Minnesota State Fair?

Travel Channel personality Andrew Zimmern has re-upped his mission to have folks fan out across the fair in search of fun, and while there’s a host of food-related items, there’s also a slot for the political.

Scavenger hunt! 50 things to look for at the @mnstatefair:

And his top priority may just stick in the establishment’s craw. Full story

August 24, 2015

Jim Webb’s 1979 Thoughts on Violence, Women and Sexuality

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Jim Webb says he’s changed his mind about his feelings on women in combat. The Virginia Democrat and 2016 presidential candidate spelled out his objections in a 1979 Washingtonian piece that is bracing in its argument that women in combat roles would have dire effects on the military’s viability.

On CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Webb said he was “proud” of the first two females who recently graduated the Army’s Ranger School, was “totally comfortable now with the military being able to make these decisions in a way that goes to performance” and noted their matriculation from West Point.

Webb’s team even put up on his 2016 campaign web site a story touting the CNN appearance. It’s a big turnaround from his Nov. 1, 1979 Washingtonian article (“Jim Webb: Women Can’t Fight”). Its language about human nature, gender roles and the place of women in the service academies, is stark.

Among its more memorable passages: Full story

August 17, 2015

NFL’s John Harbaugh Calls Foul on Political Partisanship, Immigration Standoff

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh was nowhere near the Iowa State Fair this weekend, but he still managed to crowbar some political commentary into a preseason presser.

A line of questioning from reporters on Aug. 15 about Harbaugh’s pitch to have professional referees spend more than just three weekends in August preparing for the regular season veered into the political arena as the NFL play caller took to his soapbox to call out Congress for routinely dropping the ball.

“Maybe talk to one another, solve a problem once in a while instead of creating a problem. Be more concerned about the country than you are your party. How about we do that?” Harbaugh chided elected officials. “Let’s try to fix things around here. … That’s what made us great.” Full story

August 13, 2015

Marsha Blackburn Digs What Gingham Café Is Cooking

Rep. Marsha Blackburn took to social media Wednesday to plug an old pal’s restaurant, a homespun establishment specializing in comfort food and tantalizing sweets.

The Tennessee Republican told HOH she originally met Gingham Café owner Niesha Wolfe shortly after arriving in Congress. Full story

August 6, 2015

Rob Portman’s Guide to Properly Rocking Cleveland

With the first GOP debate almost upon us, the eyes of the nation are turning to Cleveland — a destination Sen. Rob Portman insists is well worth exploring.

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“It’s a great town. There’s so many beautiful areas now,” the Ohio Republican told HOH about the Rock and Roll Capital of the World.

Lord knows if any of the 2016 GOP presidential hopefuls will circulate anywhere other than the Quicken Loans Arena lobby — not a single one mentioned “sightseeing” when they shared their pre-debate rituals with IJ Review — before or after Thursday night’s Fox News Channel-moderated media circus.

Per Portman, anyone who’s feeling adventurous ought to spend some time getting to know the city. Full story

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