Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 30, 2015

Posts in "R-A-W-K"

May 27, 2015

We Are Watchmen Raps Things Up for Ted Cruz

Christian musicians We Are Watchmen want the world to know we’re all doomed — unless Sen. Ted Cruz is handed the keys to the White House ASAFP.

The right-wing rhyme spitters paint the Texas Republican as a potential savior in their latest track, “Set It On Fire.”

The lyrics, performed over electronic handclaps and adult contemporary keyboard playing, exalt conservative values and Reagan worship. Full story

May 7, 2015

The Onion Elevates Axl Rose to Political Powerhouse

The Onion has uncovered the real reason our political system has devolved into such a dumpster fire: heavy metal.

The Onion Elevates Axl Rose to Political Powerhouse

(Screenshot)

In its latest deep-dive into electoral issues, the satirical news site attempts to peel back the curtain on shadowy Super PACs and makes some alarming discoveries. Full story

April 23, 2015

Making Your Own Fun on White House Correspondents’ Dinner Weekend

It’s time once again for worlds to collide — that extra special lost weekend during which visiting celebs and local reporters kick POTUS to the curb and get hammered together for days on end: the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.

Those not planning to rack up monumental Uber tabs in the pursuit of party hopping — the schmoozing begins in earnest late Thursday and powers through until Sunday afternoon — might be interested to know there’s more to life than stalking model Chrissy Teigen for a selfie (she’s one of Thomson Reuters’ dinner guests).

And unlike those poor souls destined to be crammed into the bowels of the Washington Hilton for most of Saturday evening, you might just learn a thing or two (and maybe even do some good) by getting out and about. Full story

April 20, 2015

Listen Up, D.C.! Here Comes the White House Correspondents’ Jam.

If getting the ear of Washington was half as easy as coaxing accomplished writers who moonlight as rockers out from behind their laptops and up onto stage, Mother Nature Network Co-Founder Chuck Leavell might very well already be running #ThisTown.

Between his musical stature (the veteran keyboardist is gearing up for another tour with the Rolling Stones) and environmental advocacy bona fides (he’s testified before Congress about forestry issues), Leavell seems like the ideal get for the celebrity maelstrom the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner has become. Instead of waiting around for others to court him, the budding media mogul is wooing music lovers via the inaugural White House Correspondents’ Jam.

Listen Up, D.C.! Here Comes the White House Correspondents Jam.

(Courtesy Mother Nature Network)

Leavell recruited five correspondent-fronted bands — Fortune Senior Editor-at-Large Brian Dumaine, Esquire scribe Tom Junod, CNBC Senior Economics Reporter Steve Liesman, New Yorker Editor David Remnick and Vanity Fair Contributing Editor Mark Rozzo are all slated to play with their respective outfits — to blow the doors off the Fairmont Hotel (2401 M St. NW) on April 24 from 7 to 11 p.m.

“Politics can get really heavy. This is an opportunity for everyone to say, ‘Hey! It’s just rock and roll,’” Leavell told HOH. Full story

April 8, 2015

Shake It Up, Bustos (Video)

Think you partied hard this spring break? Rep. Cheri Bustos certainly attempted to rock her constituents’ world.

The Illinois Democrat Wednesday pounded the skins during a swing through a nursing home nestled in her district.

Bustos appears to bongo with the best of ‘em, keeping time as best she can while her co-performers chime in via guitar, tambourine and rain stick. Full story

February 24, 2015

Let Uncle Sam Handle Breakfast

If, as campaigning politicians love to posit, it is, in fact, perpetual morning in America, what better way to greet the day than with unabashedly patriotic cooking utensils?

The meal-minded manufacturers at Germany-based Brainstream have cooked up just such a device: the Patriotic BeepEgg.

Let Uncle Sam Handle Breakfast

(Screenshot)

The musically enabled egg timer — shrouded, of course, in a red, white and blue design scheme — plays a trio of heartstring-tugging tunes depending on the desired doneness of the corresponding poultry embryos. The handheld tool appears to be embedded with a tiny speaker that chirps out basic melodies. Full story

February 5, 2015

Flipping Burger Beats Into a Battle of the Congressional Bands

Shake Shack — still coming off its price-doubling IPO high, no doubt — is looking to spread some love by giving local bands a shot at nationwide exposure via its “Burger Beats” contest.

The aspiring musicians who make the final cut stand to have their signature sound spotlighted on Shake Shack’s constantly evolving Spotify playlist.

Flipping Burger Beats Into a Battle of the Congressional Bands

(Screenshot)

According to the fast-food giant’s Facebook page, the only real restriction is that any would-be performers must be located within the burger baron’s gradually expanding orbit, a community that currently includes: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Connecticut, Florida, Las Vegas, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia and, you guessed it, Washington, D.C.

Which means congressional crooners are in play. 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

October 9, 2014

Old Rick Weiland Medicine Show Hopes to Strum to Senate

Rick Weiland, the former Hill staffer hoping to return to D.C. as the next Democrat to serve South Dakota in the Senate, has suddenly found himself thrust into the spotlight thanks to a trio of quirky campaign songs that have actually been a long time coming.

Weiland released his first political song parody, set to the tune of Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere,” earlier this spring.

“I just got the idea that this was perfect for the campaign,” Weiland said of the a-ha! moment he had while rolling around the Mount Rushmore State while listening to the Man in Black. Full story

October 2, 2014

D.C. Watering Holes Embrace MLB Pennant Race

We’re still weeks away from knowing if #ThisTown could serve as the backdrop for a fabled “Beltway Series.”

D.C. Watering Holes Embrace MLB Pennant Race

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

But now that the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles have earned their way into postseason play, local bars are gearing up for a very exciting weekend.

Thursday

Game 1 of the best-of-five series between the Baltimore Orioles and the Detroit Tigers: 5:30 p.m.

The Pug (1234 H St. NE)

The Atlas District mainstay has been doling out ballpark favorites such as peanuts, Cracker Jack and free hot dogs (!) for at least a week now.

 

 

Per Twitter, that generosity seems likely to continue while D.C. and Charm City remain on the hunt.

Reliable Source (National Press Club)

Fellow hacks can unabashedly root, root, root for Peter Angelos’ team within the comfort of the Truman Lounge. Flying Dog Lagers and D.C. Brau Pale Ales for $5 should ease the sting of not being in Camden Yards.

Now if only the NPC had an in with Boog’s BBQ … Full story

July 30, 2014

Congressional Jam Band Returns to Cantina Marina

Part-time rocker Rep. Collin C. Peterson can no longer recall which iteration (the fourth, maybe?) of “The Amendments” he’s playing in these days.

Congressional Jam Band Returns to Cantina Marina

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

But the Minnesota Democrat fully expects to have a blast Thursday night, when the lawmaker-led band featuring a revolving roster of current and former pols takes the stage at Cantina Marina (600 Water St. SW).

The show, headlined by “Blame It On Jane,” a group of ex-congressional aides and lobbyists routinely on the convention circuit, is scheduled to run from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.; no cover charge.

Per Peterson (lead singer/rhythm guitarist), he and current band-mates Tennessee Republican Stephen Fincher (bassist), ex-Missouri Republican Rep. Kenny Hulshof (percussion/keyboards), and former Hulshof Chief of Staff Manning Feraci (lead guitar) are looking forward to dazzling concertgoers with the latest cover tunes they’ve added to their sonic toolbox, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama,” and Roy Orbison’s “Only the Lonely.”

Other former lawmakers that have cycled through the constantly evolving troupe include: politician-turned-pundit Joe Scarborough, R-Fla., as well as Republicans Dave Weldon of Florida, Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan and Jon Porter of Nevada.

July 24, 2014

Capitol Hill Feasts on Hawaiian Hospitality (Video)

“The party was such a big hit the cops were called because we had too many people,” an aide to Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, told HOH about the overwhelming response to the Aloha State’s July 23 taste-around.

Capitol Hill Feasts on Hawaiian Hospitality (Video)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The inaugural event was packed during our visit, with waves of people — all wearing complimentary purple-flowered leis (700 were distributed throughout the evening) — flowing in and out of the Kennedy Caucus Room to see/hear/taste/learn all about the island state.

“Aloha!” Hirono greeted each guest as they poured through the front door. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, extended his welcome to the rapidly swelling crowd from up on stage later in the program.

As for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, well, it turns out she’s a hugger.

Capitol Hill Feasts on Hawaiian Hospitality (Video)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

We thought (for a second) that we’d spotted Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, mingling with native Hawaiians and curious staffers alike, but when we turned to look again the smiling face had disappeared into the crowd, leaving us feeling dejected about having failed to connect with her about the best part of the visually stimulating set-up. Our eyes must’ve been playing tricks, because the congresswoman was actually in Hawaii.

Party planners said Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., was quite taken with the samples of fresh papaya, while Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., was purportedly buzzing about Big Island Bees’ Ohia Lehua Blossom honey.

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy opted for a meatier experience, waiting in line, like everyone else, for a taste of kalua pork. Full story

July 9, 2014

Another Bite of the Cleveland Apple

Carving up the Cleveland hospitality scene in anticipation of the 2016 GOP nominating convention has turned into quite the task. So much so, in fact, that we’re back with a second round of dining/drinking/carousing picks for those destined to head due west ahead of the next presidential election cycle.

During our initial foray into can’t miss eateries, Cleveland Magazine managing editor Kim Schneider shared insights into coveted seats, suburban retreats and dedicated suds slingers.

But man cannot live on steak and beer alone. (Can we?) Full story

May 21, 2014

Rocker Chad Smith Does D.C. Right

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith has banged out a whole bunch of special appearances this week, from hanging with first lady Michelle Obama at the first White House talent show to cracking wise about the music biz in front of the Capitol.

Rocker Chad Smith Does D.C. Right

Smith has been rocking the Capitol this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The best part of the trip, though, had to be showing his eldest son, Cole, around the White House.

“My son for some reason, 9 years old, all things presidential he is just enamored with,” Smith told HOH. To wit, Smith noted that while visiting the Oval Office, Cole dropped some knowledge on the tour guide about the reason behind the circular design — something about not being able to sneak up on POTUS — that the administration aide claimed to be unfamiliar with.

“So Cole is now giving tours of the White House,” Smith quipped.

He said Cole got the shock of his young life when President Barack Obama unexpectedly popped by a FLOTUS-led event and took a shine to the nattily attired young man.

“He had on this seersucker suit, my son. Which he never wears a suit. It’s the only suit he has,” Smith shared.

When 44 got up close and personal, Smith said, Cole got all the love.

“Barack was like, ‘Nice to meet you, Chad. … Hey, nice suit. Where’d you get that suit? Ah, Seersucker. Summer’s coming,’” Smith noted. “So he was talking to my son about fashion.”

Or was he?

“And Cole’s like, ‘The president called me a sucker,’” Smith said, choking back laughter. Full story

May 5, 2014

Congressional Democrats Host Pussy Riot

Senate Foreign Relation Committee member Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., and House Judiciary Committee member Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., are giving members of Pussy Riot, the all female punk collective that famously ran afoul of Russian President Vladimir Putin, an open mic on Capitol Hill with which to rail against human rights abuse and political oppression.

Pussy Riot members Nadya Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina are scheduled to participate in a press conference Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. over on the Senate side of the Capitol.

The world-renowned protestors, who each spent nearly two years behind bars for publicly badmouthing Putin, have been speaking out about the sorry state of affairs within their home country since their release in late 2013.

The two were reportedly guests at Yahoo!’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner party over the weekend. Full story

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