Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 23, 2014

Posts in "Overheards"

April 11, 2014

Grover Norquist’s Global Suckdom Index

Welcome to the suck. It’s not as bad as it seems. That was sounds-negative-actually-positive sentiment from Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform, at a panel following Thursday night’s screening of Jose Antonio Vargas’ “Documented,” at the Newseum.

Grover Norquists Global Suckdom Index

Norquist, perhaps thinking about the GNGSI, at a Thursday tax event on Capitol Hill with Majority Leader Eric Cantor, right. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call.)

The documentary, which chronicles Vargas’ path as an undocumented immigrant and successful journalist and his involvement in the movement for ab immigration overhaul, played to a full house. After, Norquist joined Vargas, The Atlantic’s Megan Garber, producer Janet Yang and Joe Green, a founder of Fwd.us, to discuss the movie and the politics and culture that surround it.

Cue Norquist, one of Washington’s most lively: “The reason why the United States is the future and Japan is not and China is not and Europe is not, is because we do immigration and because we do it better than everyone else. As poorly as we do it, we do it better than everybody else, kind of like our government, it just sucks less than all the other governments. And that’s a big advantage: sucking less.”

So there you have it. The Grover Norquist Global Suckdom Index, over which the United States sits atop. USA! USA!

April 9, 2014

Overheard: Eric Holder Goes Veggie on Louie Gohmert

“Good luck with your asparagus.”

— Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., directing his ire on Tuesday at Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas. Last year, in another testy exchange between the two, Gohmert said, “The attorney general will not cast aspersions on my asparagus.”

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.

April 2, 2014

Robert Brady Really Wanted to Be a Zookeeper

House Administration Chairwoman Candice S. Miller, R-Mich., adjourned Wednesday’s panel on the future of the National Zoo with a joke about ranking member Robert A. Brady “wearing his khaki shorts … with his whip ready.”

The safari outfit fits perfectly with Brady’s childhood ambition of being a zookeeper. The Pennsylvania Democrat shared his dream of riding around with the wild creatures that populated Philadelphia’s zoo, the oldest in the nation, during his opening statement.

The panel of management officials from the Smithsonian National Zoological Park were also treated to some footage of Bao Bao the panda during their visit to Congress.

Miller, who claims to be “addicted” to the zoo’s “Panda Cam,” requested that committee staff play a brief clip of the panda cub. Afterward, she released a statement saying, “The National Zoo has a unique role as a federal zoo supported by the taxpayers. It is truly a zoo provided by and for the people.”

Especially for Brady, the hopeful zookeeper.

March 10, 2014

Gridiron Club Jokes: Congressional Edition

Gridiron Club Jokes: Congressional Edition

This dinosaur, seen wandering the Capitol in a 2007, is not the one from the Gridiron Dinner, where no photos are allowed. But you get the idea. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ted Cruz apparently doesn’t have a problem with being openly mocked. Even when he’s being called a ”Flintstone Cowboy” by reporters dressed up like the cartoon characters — with a full-sized pink Dino the Dinosaur — presenting the Texas Republican as straight out of the Stone Age.

Cruz, the Republican keynote speaker for the exclusive, white-tie Gridiron Dinner on March 8, laughed heartily from the head table as the grizzled journalists danced around on stage to an original tune parodying the Glen Campbell ballad “Rhinestone Cowboy.”

Full story

March 5, 2014

Overheard: Joe Wilson’s West Africa Ties

“And, well, if [AFRICOM] ever relocates to the continental United States, Charleston, South Carolina comes to mind. With military facilities and — we also have a shared culture with West Africa, so there’s a relationship which is very positive.”

— Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., at a Wednesday House Armed Services Committee hearing, speaking to Army Gen. David M. Rodriguez, head of U.S. Africa Command.

March 4, 2014

Overheard: GPO Is Really Old

“I am especially glad to be here on this day of all days because it is the 153rd anniversary of the day that GPO first opened its doors for business in 1861. In other words, today is GPO’s birthday”

— Davita Vance-Cooks, public printer of the United States, shares an agency milestone with House appropriators to kick off Budget Day.

February 10, 2014

Overheard: Phil Roe’s Hands-On Politicking

“I am an OB-GYN doctor. And I delivered most of my own voters.”

– Physician-turned-Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., shares the secret to breeding loyal constituents with Heritage Action’s Conservative Policy Summit

February 7, 2014

Paul Gosar’s Love for Legislation He Voted Against

Paul Gosars Love for Legislation He Voted Against

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama signed the long-awaited farm bill into law Friday, prompting the traditional outpouring of congressional press releases. But among the digital back-pattings was one carefully worded missive that lauded Obama for signing provisions of Rep. Paul Gosar’s wildfire prevention legislation into law — even though Gosar voted against the final bill.

“When it comes to wildfires, 2013 wasn’t a good year, which is why I’m especially proud that the majority of my wildfire prevention legislation was signed into law today,” Gosar stated. Full story

January 23, 2014

Overheard: Louie Gohmert on ‘These Young Women’

“The left tried to say I was attacking single moms, and if you listen to what I said, the whole point was it bugged the fire outta me that these young women, and the stories were usually very, very similar, they got bored with high school, and somebody’d say, ‘Hey, drop out, the government will send you a check for every child you can have out of wedlock.’ They have one child, and they find out, that’s really not enough to live on, have another and another.”

— Rep. Louie Gohmert on Fox News Thursday

By Jason Dick Posted at 1:36 p.m.
Overheards

January 22, 2014

Overheard: Charm City Mayor Charms Cable News

“Listen, I’m a big fan of the DNC chair. She has been a friend and a mentor and I was extremely flattered. It — it doesn’t feel much different. My daughter doesn’t think I’m much different.”

— Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, speaking on MSNBC Wednesday morning about Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s recent comments that the mayor is a rising star.

By Jason Dick Posted at 1:26 p.m.
media, Overheards

January 10, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of Jan. 6 (Video)

Congressional Hits and Misses starts off the new year with a bang, mixing together Greg Maddux, Dennis Rodman, New Jersey bridges and the United Nations “global warming party.”

December 20, 2013

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of Dec. 16 (Video)

In Roll Call’s final installment of Congressional Hits and Misses before the new year, we are reminded senators can, in fact, read, translate and philosophize.

December 19, 2013

Overheard: Michael Grimm’s Marine Corps

“This is not the Marine Corps that I know and love.”

– Rep. Michael Grimm, on Fox News, regarding the case of Maj. Jason Brezler, who is facing charges he brought classified documents on his personal hard drive back from a war zone and shared them inappropriately. Brezler faces possible disciplinary action.

December 12, 2013

Overheard: Rand Paul’s Hell-Freezing-Over Timeline

“I don’t think there’s going to be unanimous consent on anything until hell freezes over.”

— Sen. Rand Paul

By Roll Call Staff Posted at 12:58 p.m.
Overheards, Sens

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