Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 26, 2015

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April 16, 2015

GOP Senator Doesn’t Care What You Think of His Disney Ringtone (Video) (Updated)

GOP Senator Doesnt Care What You Think of His Disney Ringtone (Video) (Updated)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:51 p.m. | A Senate Finance hearing on U.S. tariff policy was disrupted Thursday not by protesters, but by one Republican’s Disney-themed ringtone. Full story

January 20, 2015

State of the Union Drink-o

State of the Union Drink o

Why should politicos be the only ones to get all punchy while President Barack Obama yammers on about something or other Tuesday night? Tap into the excitement surrounding #ThisTown’s version of the Academy Awards/Super Bowl by punctuating each prescribed buzzword with a wee nip of something special.

Just make sure to pace yourself — 44 is no Bill Clinton, but he still tends to wax philosophic longer than Dubya ever did.

Related:

Roll Call Presents: State of the Union Watch Party

Who’ll Steal the Show at SOTU?

Joke, Flatter, Dig In: Handling Post-Shellacking SOTUs

A Guide to State of the Union Watch Parties

The Updated Staffer Guide to the State of the Union 2015

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By Warren Rojas Posted at 4:06 p.m.
Uncategorized

The Bill Young Saga: Harry Glenn’s Timeline

The death of Rep. C.W. Bill Young produced a melee among his family, staffers and others entrusted with the Florida Republican’s legacy. Longtime Young Chief of Staff Harry Glenn has found himself in the middle of some of these fights, and he provided CQ Roll Call with his own timeline surrounding the events in question. Full story

The Bill Young Saga: Items the Family Has Yet to Recoup

The death of Rep. C.W. Bill Young set off a fight for custody of some of the Florida Republican’s personal effects. While many items have been returned to the Young family, some memorabilia is still not accounted for and in the family’s possession. Full story

January 6, 2015

Chasing a Dream at The Pursuit Wine Bar

Chasing a Dream at The Pursuit Wine Bar

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Unlike trendier drinking establishments that have wholly embraced gimmickry as a shortcut to success, the powers that be behind The Pursuit Wine Bar at 1421 H St. NE appear inclined to grow their following one incredibly satisfied patron at a time.

There are no eye roll-inducing passwords to memorize. No blink-and-you’ll-miss-it entry ways to ferret out. And, thankfully, no throng of chain-smoking, shot special of the day-chasing, extra long polo shirt-wearing bros to endure, as can be the case at its clubbier neighbor, The Elroy.

If anything, The Pursuit’s terribly well-mannered clientele are living proof that quiet and contentment can happily coexist beneath the same roof.

Full story

December 16, 2014

Ex-Rep. Heath Shuler Earns Dubious Football Distinction

Ex Rep. Heath Shuler Earns Dubious Football Distinction

Shuler put his football skills to use as a member of Congress. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ex-Rep. Heath Shuler is associated with two franchises that have their public relations challenges: Congress and Washington’s NFL franchise. It’s his time as quarterback in D.C. that has earned him further ignominy, though.

According to The Washington Post’s Fancy Stats, the North Carolina Democrat is the Washington pro-football team’s worst quarterback. Ever. Or at least since 1970’s NFL-AFL merger. Full story

December 10, 2014

Indigo Blurs Lines Between Carry-Out and Community Hub

Indigo Blurs Lines Between Carry Out and Community Hub

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s been just more than a year since Indigo co-founders Dinesh and Nidhi Tandon formally established their brick-and-mortar neighborhood restaurant. But the writing on the wall (literally) suggests they have already firmly cemented their place among Indian dining enthusiasts.

The quaint establishment at 243 K St. NE, which replaced a dilapidated corner store in the steadily shifting NoMa section of town, has allowed the Tandons to graduate from cult following to community anchor. The family-run operation — he’s the carnival barker-like gent often calling back orders from the register area to the kitchen, while she juggles day-to-day cooking duties and recipe development — marks the continuation of the alimentary evangelism they began while doling out aromatic servings of their native dishes to adventurous shoppers at Eastern Market.

Full story

December 4, 2014

Take Your Time Getting to Know Rose’s Luxury

Take Your Time Getting to Know Rose’s Luxury

Silverman, center in sweatshirt, is chef/owner of Rose’s Luxury. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Unbridled success, it would seem, has yet to ruin Aaron Silverman, the enterprising chef who gave life to critical darling Rose’s Luxury, just more than a year ago.

Some fans, on the other hand, are feeling the, ahem, wait of the world on their shoulders.

“So, can we go get a six-pack and just drink out here?” one exasperated fellow wonders aloud after finding himself at the far end of a morale-sapping, 100-plus person backup to get into the no reservations-taking temple to new American cooking.

The frustration is understandable. Full story

September 29, 2014

Eric Holder Leaves the Field | Capitol Quip

Eric Holder Leaves the Field | Capitol Quip

Now that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., has announced his resignation, Congress will soon turn to the political football that will be confirming his successor. This brings us to this week’s Capitol Quip captioning contest.

Send us a caption for this week’s contest by leaving it in the comments section. Editors will pick five finalists on Wednesday, and everyone can vote for the winner through Thursday.

To see our previous winners, check us out on Pinterest.

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September 14, 2014

Mark Sanford Surprised Maria Belen Chapur With Facebook Post; She Blames Politics For Breakup

Mark Sanford Surprised Maria Belen Chapur With Facebook Post; She Blames Politics For Breakup

Chapur and Sanford in happier times. (Courtesy CNN)

Mark Sanford asked fiancee Maria Belen Chapur to wait two more years for a wedding. She said no — and Sanford then surprised her by writing that epic, now infamous Facebook post announcing the breakup and blaming the split on an ugly custody battle with his ex-wife, Jenny Sanford.

Chapur told The New York Times in an interview from Paris — where she had just spent a week with Sanford — that the South Carolina Republican wanted her to wait two more years for a wedding, an offer she rejected.

“I’ve already been five years waiting and two years since the engagement,” she said, when asking why she wrote to Sanford and rejected his offer of waiting two more years as a girlfriend before matrimony.

She told the paper she thinks the request by Sanford to wait two more years had more to do with his political ambitions than with his custody dispute, though in two years the custody dispute would be moot.

“I think that I was not useful to him anymore — he made the engagement thing four months before the elections,” Chapur told the Times. “So this is not about his son, this is about his career and his ambitions,” she said, even as she called Sanford “the love of my life.”

Full story

By Steven T. Dennis Posted at 10:12 a.m.
Uncategorized

September 12, 2014

The Mark Sanford Breakup Mixtape

Nobody likes a breakup. So when the Roll Call newsroom caught wind of South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford’s 2,346-word Facebook post announcing his breakup with fiancée Maria Belén Chapur as the result of an ongoing custody battle with his ex-wife, we wanted to help.

Here’s a Spotify playlist that Rep. Sanford can drown his sorrows with while he eats his Ben and Jerry’s.

 

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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Mark Sanford Calls Off Engagement in Epic Facebook Post

Mark Sanford Calls Off Engagement in Epic Facebook Post

Sanford broke the news on Facebook. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In an epic Facebook post, Rep. Mark Sanford announced he is calling off his engagement with Maria Belén Chapur because of the stress of an ongoing custody dispute with his ex-wife, Jenny Sanford.

The South Carolina Republican famously left the state as governor for a secret tryst with Chapur while claiming he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. When he was caught, the incident interrupted an ascendant political career and ended his marriage before he made a comeback.

In the 2,346-word Facebook post, Sanford details the stress of his ongoing custody disputes with his ex-wife, including a new suit seeking to limit his access to one of his sons — something Sanford said he already doesn’t have because she has full custody and has been limiting his access already.

“I cannot do this anymore,” he says at one point. Here’s a key passage:

“In their summons I am ‘restrained’ from the following:

“Consuming or being under the influence of illegal drugs or excessive amounts of alcohol in the presence, or while responsible for, the care of the minor child.” This really is crazy. Why would one throw out the need for restraint if it were not a problem – or if one did not want to raise the specter of a problem? On this one all I can ask is that you talk to anyone who has seen or known me over my entire 54 years in the Low Country. I have never taken any illegal drug in my life. I did not drink in high school or college and though I do drink now, my consumption is so limited that my friends give me a hard time about it. I will have but one beer or two when out at a social occasion.

“Restrained from entering or attempting to enter the property of Plaintiff.” We have already been through this with the Super bowl and my taking our youngest son Blake home from a Super bowl party two years ago when his mom was out of town. I made the wrong call (though I thought the right call as a dad to be with him and not to just drop him off) and have never set foot on her property since then. I don’t know why this is being brought back up again.

“Exposing the minor child overnight to a member of the opposite sex not related by blood who could be reasonably construed as a paramour.” Though Jenny herself has certainly not lived up to this clause it is clearly aimed at me given near everyone knows about Belen and in that regard it seems designed to create intrigue where none exists. The younger boys have never spent a night housed under the same roof with Belen and with the exception of one night and a major conversation that lasted well into that night, the same holds true for the older boys. I was primarily motivated to do so by a love for the boys and wanting to go to great lengths to never again put them in an uncomfortable spot. I was also motivated by fear because there was very frequently a consequence in not being allowed to see the boys if I did something my former wife disliked.

No relationship can stand forever this tension of being forced to pick between the one you love and your own son or daughter, and for this reason Belen and I have decided to call off the engagement. Maybe there will be another chapter when waters calm with Jenny, but at this point the environment is not conducive to building anything given no one would want to be caught in the middle of what’s now happening. Belen is a remarkably wonderful woman who I have always loved and I will be forever grateful for not only the many years we have known and loved each other, but the last six very tough ones wherein she has encouraged me and silently borne its tribulations with her ever warm and kind spirit.”

If the Palmetto State bachelor needs help completing the catharsis, maybe this Spotify playlist compiled by the Roll Call newsroom will help.

Related Stories:

Sanford Steps Out With Fiancee at CNN Party

Fantastic Sanford-Appalachian Trail Gala Timing

Mark Sanford, Baby He Was Born to Run

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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July 28, 2014

Pete Gallego Saves Choking Child During Flight Home

Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Texas, jumped into action during a flight home to Texas on Friday night to help a young boy next to him who was choking on a chicken nugget.

“I had my headphones on and was listening to some news articles,” Gallego told CQ Roll Call during a phone interview Monday, when he heard a commotion next to him.

Beside the freshman congressman was a 3-year-old boy and the boy’s mother, who was also holding a baby. The woman stood up and started shouting, “Oh my God, my son is choking! He’s choking!”

“I turned around quickly and I had to unbuckle his seat belt,” said Gallego. He then put one hand on the child’s back and one on the child’s sternum, and gently pushed forward. “As I did that he turned around to look at me and I ended up with chicken nuggets on my chest,” but the child was alright. Full story

June 23, 2014

Trey Gowdy Does His Best Don Rickles With Boehner Joke

Trey Gowdy Does His Best Don Rickles With Boehner Joke

Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, left, and Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., arrive for the House Judiciary Committee hearing on "Oversight of the United States Department of Homeland Security" on Thursday, May 29, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)" src="http://hoh.rollcall.com/wp-content/uploads/gowdy-chaffetz_251_052914-1-240x161.jpg" width="240" height="161" /> Gowdy, right, needles colleagues Boehner, Graham and Harris. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Who knew Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., was so deft with a punchline (admittedly, a pretty corny one)?

The former prosecutor had the audience at Maryland GOP’s Red, White and Blue dinner last week howling over a shaggy-dog tale featuring fellow Republicans Speaker John A. Boehner, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Andy Harris in heaven.

Here’s a transcript of the joke, currently getting a lot of attention on YouTube:

“Before we talk about how to win again — and I know this is the first time I’ve met many of you and it’s socially inappropriate to share the details of a dream with a group that you’ve just met. I don’t know how many of you have a background in psychiatry or psychology, but I did, I had a horrible dream last night. If you’d give me just a couple of minutes I’d love to share it with you and if any of you can interpret it, that’d be great too.

“In my dream John Boehner, Lindsey Graham and Andy Harris all tragically died and, and went to heaven the same day. It can happen, I guess. Two of ‘em for sure. I think, I think it was a lightning bolt hitting a golf cart but I am not for sure how they died.

“But I know that they got to heaven and St. Peter said, “Look, I know you’re big shots on earth but there are rules up here. You need to follow the rules or there are going to be consequences.” Well Speaker Boehner was the first person to break the rules in heaven. He broke into a CVS to steal some cigarettes and some tanning lotion.  It’s my dream, it happened. Trust me, I’m a lawyer.

“So in my dream I see John Boehner and he is chained to Nancy Pelosi with a ten-foot long chain. And in a voice as loud as thunder I hear, ‘John Boehner you violated the rules of heaven and this is your punishment for all of eternity.’

“And then I see Lindsey Graham. And Lindsey’s running around in heaven, wanting to know where John McCain is. I’m not going to get into why McCain wasn’t there. That’s up to somebody else but in my dream, in my dream, Senator Graham was chained to Roseanne Barr with a five-foot, a five-foot long chain. And a voice as loud as thunder I hear, ‘Lindsey Graham you have violated the rules of heaven and this is your punishment for all of eternity.’

“And this is where I get emotional because Andy’s a friend. Andy’s a friend but in my dream I see Dr. Andy Harris and he is chained with a five-foot long chain to the former supermodel Cindy Crawford. And in a voice as loud as thunder I hear, ‘Cindy Crawford you have violated the rules — ‘ [interrupted by laughter]

June 20, 2014

Eric Cantor’s Next Move: Dancing With the Stars?

Eric Cantor’s Next Move: Dancing With the Stars?

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

After his shocking primary loss, outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s days are numbered on Capitol Hill. So will the Virginia Republican’s next move be to the dance floor?

It will if Sara Benincasa has her way. Benincasa, a California-based writer and comedian, recently started a Change.org petition asking ABC to offer Cantor a spot on their competition series “Dancing with the Stars.”

“If Tom DeLay can do it, Eric Cantor can freaking rock this show,” Benincasa wrote on the petition. “He is a dreamboat and even if you don’t like his politics, you need to admit that the man’s got swag. Plus, he’s got some time on his hands, and this is a way better use of time than becoming some lobbyist. He can do that AFTER he wins Dancing With The Stars. “

The petition has more than 80 signatures so far, but Benincasa says Cantor should be getting more support. “I think Eric Cantor deserves better than 83 people,” Benincasa said in a phone interview.

Benincasa is editor-in-chief of the site “Happy Nice Time People,” a political humor website. She said she started the petition because she is “really interested in anything that could get a politician involved with entertainment,” adding that Cantor would also be nice to watch on TV.

“Even though I don’t agree with his politics, I agree with his face,” Benincasa said. She added that he could also use dance as a way to express himself once he leaves Congress.

“I feel like Eric Cantor has demonstrated a lot of passion in his life,” she said. “And I feel like the only way for that passion to find a voice now is through the magic of dance.”

So if Cantor decides to become one of the dancing stars, he can at least call another former House majority leader for cha-cha tips.

 

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