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

Posts in "Nationwide"

July 14, 2015

‘March’ Team Prods Youths to Change the Future (Video)

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SAN DIEGO — Some 50-plus years since committing to drag a deeply divided nation toward a brighter tomorrow, Rep. John Lewis recently turned not to well-heeled donors or seasoned pols for help, but to a roomful of children.

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“When you see something that is not right, you must disturb the order of things,” the Georgia Democrat implored the hundreds of kids who gathered on July 12 at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation to hear from the visiting civil rights icon.

Lewis, in town to promote the second installment of his autobiographical graphic novel, “March,” at Comic-Con International, spoke to a group of at-risk youths who live in a world far removed from the pop culture spectacle. Full story

July 12, 2015

Graphic Artist Sparks Impromptu Bernie Sanders Rally at Comic-Con

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SAN DIEGO – Could the (fury) road to the White House one day lead through Comic-Con?

Mario Prado, a printing wiz currently smitten with 2016 presidential hopeful Sen. Bernard Sanders, doesn’t see that as such an absurd proposition.

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“Comic-Con attracts a lot of nerds. Nerds are very much on top of politics,” the printing shop owner told CQ Roll Call of his decision to stump for the Vermont independent.

Prado erected an eye-catching depiction of the populist pol facing off against the conservative Koch brothers in a Mad Max-like landscape along a heavily traveled crosswalk just outside the bustling entertainment hub. That, coupled with the fire engine-red T-shirt he wore in support of “Bernie Man” — showing Sanders’ signature shock of white hair replaced by flaming coiffure — drew in passersby, many of whom Prado said were not all that familiar with the veteran pol. Full story

July 9, 2015

John Lewis to Resurrect Historic Look for Comic-Con

Dressing as one’s favorite fictional character is part of the allure of attending Comic-Con International. Come Saturday, Rep. John Lewis intends to get into the spirit of things by giving dedicated cosplayers a peek at what real heroes wear into battle.

(CQ Roll Call Photo Illustration)

(CQ Roll Call Photo Illustration)

The Georgia Democrat is returning to the fantasy fest to educate attendees about “March,” a three-part series of graphic novels chronicling his decades-long fight for equality.

Instead of donning form-fitting spandex or fetishistic leather gear, Lewis aide and “March” co-author Andrew Aydin tells HOH the 15-term lawmaker plans to recreate the outfit he wore to soldier across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in early 1965. Full story

Doug Collins Fans the Flames of Barbecue Dominance

Bragging about award-winning eateries residing in one’s district is nothing new in the House of Representatives. Georgia Republican Doug Collins Wednesday did so with gusto, putting colleagues on notice that the unexpected rise of Joe’s BBQ in Blue Ridge proved their barbecue providers were the pits.

“He calls it beginner’s luck. I think we’re just turning into a legacy and tradition in North Georgia,” the two-term lawmaker boasted of TripAdvisor’s crowning of Joe’s back in May as the top barbecue restaurant in the nation. Full story

July 8, 2015

John Lewis Helps Bring Comic-Con to At-Risk Youth

While he’s sure to spend his fair share of time alongside the crush of costumed characters invading this year’s Comic-Con International, Rep. John Lewis has also carved out time this weekend to stoke the next generation of social activists.

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Georgia Democrat is expected to make the rounds Saturday and Sunday in San Diego to help promote “March: Book Two,” the continuation of a planned three-part series of graphic novels he first unveiled two summers ago.

While many of the other featured guests are unlikely to step foot outside the cavernous main hall, the 15-term lawmaker is scheduled Sunday to address some 250 local children gathered together by the Elementary Institute of Science. Full story

July 7, 2015

Free Your Mind at Comic-Con

Lewis is heading to Comic Con to discuss "March Book Two." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lewis is heading to Comic-Con to discuss “March Book Two.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attending Comic-Con International can certainly be about granting the imagination carte blanche to explore every fevered dream and act out the most outlandish childhood fantasies.

But there also exist opportunities — albeit typically overshadowed by the elaborate cosplaying and relentless corporate focus-testing — to think big thoughts and ruminate about where we’re all headed as a society.

While some will likely devote every waking moment of the weekend-long entertainment blitz (happening Thursday through Sunday) to stalking action movie stars or cable series regulars, many attendees will fill the rows of far-flung meeting rooms reserved for lively socio-political discourse. Full story

June 30, 2015

Patrick Leahy Lives for The Dead

(Courtesy Patrick Leahy)

(Courtesy Patrick Leahy)

Though it sounds like he’ll be unable to travel to Chi-town this weekend for the final shows, longtime Grateful Dead fan Sen. Patrick J. Leahy will undoubtedly be there in spirit.

Per the story he shared with LIFE Magazine for a special issue commemorating the 50th anniversary and final performances of the renowned jam band, the late Jerry Garcia and friends opened the Vermont Democrat’s eyes to an entirely different world. Full story

June 29, 2015

Ben Jones Raises His Battle Flag

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

Its days might be numbered in the Palmetto State and other Southern states. But the Confederate battle flag has suddenly become the must-have item in the life of former Rep. Ben Jones.

The one-time Georgia Democrat and “Dukes of Hazzard” star who played “Cooter” is firing back against the rush to scrub the iconic battle flag from the national consciousness following the racially motivated shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.

“I think all of Hazzard nation understands that the confederate battle flag is the symbol that represents the indomitable spirit of independence which keeps us ‘makin’ our way the only way we know how,’” Jones espoused on social media, cribbing a line for his rant from the “Dukes” theme song penned by the late Waylon Jennings. Full story

June 26, 2015

Scott Brown’s Slim Pickings

Contrary to what social media users might think, former lawmaker Scott Brown hasn’t been conned by any Nigerian princes. And he no longer has any need to curry favor with Big Pharma.

So what would motivate the border-hopping Senate hopeful to throw his weight behind dietary supplements?

Good, old-fashioned results.

(Courtesy Scott Brown)

(Courtesy Scott Brown)

The one-time Massachusetts Republican (and occasional centerfold) recently got tongues wagging by taking to social media to espouse the benefits of modern medicine.

“I was fat, slow and out of shape,” Brown, who upon the counsel of his son-in-law elected to tackle AdvoCare’s 24-Day Challenge, said others told him of his post-congressional physique. Full story

June 18, 2015

Congress’ Captive Commencement Audiences

Lewis frequently takes time to speak to students. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lewis frequently takes time to speak to students. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress’ most popular commencement speaker this year is Rep. John Lewis. By the end of graduation season, the Georgia Democrat will have spoken at six ceremonies, including one Saturday at Antioch College in Ohio.

At Virginia’s Hampton University on May 10, he told the graduates, “You must find a way to get in the way. You must find a way to get into trouble — in good trouble, in necessary trouble,” — a familiar message from the civil-rights icon. Full story

June 12, 2015

Dan Kildee Views BLT Disposal as a Team Effort

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(Screenshot)

After securing another year of bragging rights by coming out on top in the 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game, Rep. Dan Kildee now faces a victory celebration decidedly not for the faint of heart.

Per the friendly wager he made on the game with Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Mich., the Michigan Democrat is owed one of the pound-plus BLTs that helped put Tony’s 1-75 Restaurant on the map.

“I think this might have to be a staff project,” the two-term lawmaker told HOH of the daunting delicacy. “There’s no way I can eat a pound of bacon, even in a month.” Full story

June 3, 2015

Bill Nelson’s Private Hell

Friendly bets regarding the outcome of the Stanley Cup Final are flying around up here on Capitol Hill. But no matter who emerges victorious, Sen. Bill Nelson is destined to remain the odd man out.

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Florida Democrat has gone all-in behind the Tampa Bay Lighting in the best-of-seven series that will decide the next National Hockey League champ.

Sen. Richard J. Durbin is backing the Chicago Blackhawks, and he’s put up regional goodies as collateral. Full story

May 26, 2015

Join a Political Dynasty Lickety-Click

Author and aspiring genealogist A.J. Jacobs is on a mission to prove mankind is one happy family — a theory that has borne out previously unknown connections to a who’s who of political heavies.

Jacobs’ digital sleuthing is projected to become flesh on June 6 during the Global Family Reunion, a day-long get-together expected to fill New York’s Hall of Science with would-be relatives from across creation.

GFRi

(Screenshot)

The fundraiser, which is geared toward combating Alzheimer’s, promises activities galore, including interactive exhibits, space age-y mini golf, a family-themed scavenger hunt, the world’s biggest family photo, a potentially record-breaking sing-along with Sister Sledge and global dining options (think: food carts). Full story

May 22, 2015

Lamar Alexander Pines to Play Piano Man

Nothing worse than watching plans for a nice, leisurely long holiday weekend dashed by the political ambitions of contrarian colleagues.

Unless, like Sen. Lamar Alexander, you also have a once-in-a-lifetime gig to attend to.

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“I’ll be very disappointed it I don’t make it,” the Tennessee Republican told HOH about the possibility of not being able to sit in Saturday for the farewell “Sunset Symphony” performance — a grand finale four decades in the making.

Alexander, who has been tickling the ivories since his youth, said he’s played the Memphis in May show only a handful of times — including a debut appearance in 1982, during which he recalls seeing around 150,000 people lined up along the banks of the might Mississippi while “Ol’ Man River” floated on the evening air — and is very excited about helping to bring the historic program to a close.

“It’s really a beautiful event,” he shared. Full story

May 18, 2015

Friends of the Earth Out to Bury Earl Blumenauer

Environmental activists are throwing Rep. Earl Blumenauer under the zero-emission, biodiesel-fueled bus for openly embracing broader trade-promotion authority.

Friends of the Earth is going after the Oregon Democrat both here and back home in Portlandia for endorsing a polarizing “fast-track” plan the eco-warriors perceive to be a bum deal.

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“That’s what you get if you’re going to side with corporate polluters,” Friends of the Earth Climate and Energy Program Director Benjamin Schreiber told HOH of the dozens of antagonistic flyers. Schreiber personally affixed the signs — which read, “MISSING: Climate Champion Earl Blumenauer” — to every available surface surrounding the Capitol South Metro station. Full story

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