Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 21, 2014

Posts in "VIPs"

April 7, 2014

Guerilla Artist Skewers Dems to Spark Breitbart California Launch

Conservative artist/provocateur Sabo is no stranger to mixing members of Congress and California, as can be seen from his mock-up of a recent Ted Cruz, R-Texas, event in Beverly Hills.

Guerilla Artist Skewers Dems to Spark Breitbart California Launch

(Screenshot)

But now that the Breitbart News Network has expanded to the Golden State, Sabo is helping mark the bi-coastal migration with a fresh batch of eyebrow-raising art.

The politically charged images, including one of a provocatively dressed and posed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., served as the welcome mat for the fledgling site, an act of aggression fitting with the anonymous artist’s MO.

“My aim as an artist is to be as dirty, ground level, and mean as any Liberal artist out there, more so if I can,” Sabo, who describes himself as a Republican and ex-Marine, declares on his personal website. He has previously taken shots at President Barack Obama and former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, but elected to widen his scope this time around to better suit the media rollout.

Sabo assured HOH, however, that he is not on the Breitbart payroll.

“Just consider me a fan of Andrew, a kindred spirit with a common mission,” he suggested via email. “My contribution to said ‘mission’ is to help Conservatives find their creative voice. I admit my approach is rather hard edge. … That’s just the way I like it.”

He declined to specify how many posters had been papered across Los Angeles and indicated that it’s still too early too tell which anti-Democrat depiction will cause the biggest commotion.

“The posters just hit the street so, I can not comment on which has pissed ‘Progressives’ off more. I hope they all equally tie their panties in knots,” Sabo said.

Democrats here in Washington, D.C., had no such problem picking their least favorite contribution to the arts — the rather unflattering image of Pelosi.

“To say the least, the Breitbart News ad is foul, offensive, and disrespectful to all women. It is a disgusting new low and would be reprehensible against any woman — regardless of party,” Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., stated in a release. “It’s no wonder the Republicans are having problems appealing to women. If GOP leaders are serious about their rebrand, then both their elected and Party leadership should condemn this outrageous behavior, call on Breitbart News to immediately remove the ad, and not continue to use this website as a forum for their views.”

Per Sabo, Pelosi was on his hit list because she is “a typical gun grabbing liberal who fights to insure only the ‘authorities’ can possess firearms that way they, the political class, can run over us anytime they want without fear of retribution from the peasants.”

The others drawing fire — “They all suck, some slightly more than the other but not by much,” Sabo groused — this time around include:

California Gov. Jerry Brown

Guerilla Artist Skewers Dems to Spark Breitbart California Launch

(Screenshot)

“Jerry Brown is back-wash. Californians were dumb enough to have brought back [him] from the dead; talk about a zombie invasion,” Sabo said of the boomerang pol.

 

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg

Guerilla Artist Skewers Dems to Spark Breitbart California Launch

(Screenshot)

“Zuckerberg is a tech-klepto who’s nose is waaaaay too far up everyone’s business,” Sabo said.

 

CNN personality Piers Morgan

Guerilla Artist Skewers Dems to Spark Breitbart California Launch

(Screenshot)

“Piers Morgan needs to go back home,” Sabo counseled.

Breitbart readers were, by and large, rather pleased to see their common enemies held up to ridicule and scorn:

Guerilla Artist Skewers Dems to Spark Breitbart California Launch

(Screenshot)

 

Guerilla Artist Skewers Dems to Spark Breitbart California Launch

(Screenshot)

One rabble-rouser even urged Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to take notes, but doubted the higher ups would hear her plaintive cries.

Guerilla Artist Skewers Dems to Spark Breitbart California Launch

(Screenshot)

Meanwhile, a left-leaning observer vowed to counter the visual offensive by coining a new definition for “Breitbart” a la the homoerotic connotation sex columnist Dan Savage affixed to former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., years ago.

Guerilla Artist Skewers Dems to Spark Breitbart California Launch

(Screenshot)

And while he may be persona non grata over in the House, Sabo appears to be in good with at least one member in the other chamber, the aforementioned Mr. Cruz.

Sabo reimagined the tea party favorite as an inked-up outlaw a few weeks back, and said the Texas Republican responded in kind. “I’m happy to report Senator Ted Cruz has a pair [of posters] and has yet to throw me under the bus,” Sabo said of his congressional fan base.

Cruz made light of the gritty depiction on Twitter, offering one small correction to the rather outlandish homage:

 

 

March 20, 2014

Marcel’s Hosts Preview of Intercontinental Pop-Up

Restaurateur Robert Wiedmaier is heading across the pond at the end of the month to partake in a culinary exchange set to include a private reception for newly minted U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, Matthew Barzun, as well as a week-long “pop-up” dining experience orchestrated alongside award-winning British toque, Simon Hulstone.

Marcel’s Hosts Preview of Intercontinental Pop Up

(Courtesy Marcel’s)

DC denizens have the opportunity to sample the distinctive flavors Wiedmaier plans to share with curious Londoners at the “A Tale of Two Cities” preview dinner scheduled to take place March 21 at Marcel’s (2401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW).

The seven-course meal ($165 per person) will showcase locally inspired dishes — including pan-seared scallops with black fermented garlic and squid ink, roasted pigeon with potato risotto and black truffle, and plum-tarragon tart with honey and cinnamon ice cream — paired with Virginia wines and spirits. Author and bon vivant Jason Tesauro has mixed together a slew of regional producers, promising pours from award-winning wineries such as Barboursville Vineyards, Thibaut-Janisson Winery (French President Francois Hollande was introduced to their bubbly at the latest state dinner) and Boxwood Estate Winery, as well as some fizzy refreshments from Foggy Ridge Cider and a little hard stuff from Catoctin Creek Distillery. Full story

March 7, 2014

Congress Reveres Guest Prayer Leaders

Maintaining that whole separation of church and state split is a tightrope act on any given day of the year.

Congress Reveres Guest Prayer Leaders

(Courtesy Scott Peters)

Church has, as of late, taken the lead on Capitol Hill thanks to the contributions of high-profile, and intimately connected, spiritual leaders.

Last week, Rep. Scott Peters experienced the rare privilege of having his father, retired pastor and civil rights activist Harvey Peters, usher in the legislative day with a prayer.

“Few members of Congress get the chance to see a parent speak in the House chamber, and I am truly thankful that I was able to share this moment with him, and with my Mom, RuthAnn, who watched from the gallery,” the California Democrat shared on the House floor. “His work instilled in me and my three sisters the values of courage and equality that I’ve tried to bring to my own service.”

An aide to the Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, the chaplain of the House of Representatives, told HOH that the chaplain’s office has limited data regarding immediate family members who have presided over the morning prayer, but confirmed that Peters is in a fairly exclusive group.

Rep. Bruce Braley is in the club.

The Iowa Democrat got to see his brother, Rev. Brad Braley, prepare Congress for the work ahead during the of summer 2010. Full story

February 28, 2014

Dragons, Daffodils and a Drop of Whiskey for Welsh Caucus

Dragons, Daffodils and a Drop of Whiskey for Welsh Caucus

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“What about the Welsh?” Rep. Morgan Griffith asked more than a year ago.

When the congressman of Welsh and Scottish descent was approached about joining the Friends of Scotland Caucus, he was surprised to learn that there was no Welsh caucus. So the Virginia Republican set out to start the new group, which launched this week.

Griffith attended the annual St. David’s Day event at the British ambassador’s residence on Wednesday in celebration of the patron saint of Wales. Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 1:15 p.m.
DC, Reps, VIPs

February 25, 2014

Priscilla Presley, Paul Williams Storm the Hill; More Celebs to Come

The latest smattering of fast falling flakes to blanket the area could not keep advocacy-minded entertainers away from the Capitol on Tuesday. And there’s still more help from Hollywood already on the way.

Actress-turned-animal-rights-activist and former Elvis spouse Priscilla Presley made the rounds on behalf of the Humane Society, stumping for equine rights and relief from soring.

Priscilla Presley, Paul Williams Storm the Hill; More Celebs to Come

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A tipster placed Presley at neighboring 701 Restaurant the night before, sharing that the world famous “Naked Gun” co-star broke bread for several hours with friends at the pol-pleasing establishment.

Paul Williams, ’70s-songwriter-turned-president and chairman of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, proved that he’s still a big man on this campus by tag-teaming pressers across Capitol Hill.

Priscilla Presley, Paul Williams Storm the Hill; More Celebs to Come

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Williams helped usher in the new Library of Congress exhibit, “ASCAP: One Hundred Years and Beyond” and shared his thoughts with lawmakers about music royalties.

Bono, meanwhile, didn’t make it all the way to the halls of Congress — sending, instead, 250-odd friends to share his concerns with lawmakers.

Priscilla Presley, Paul Williams Storm the Hill; More Celebs to Come

(Courtesy Ralph Alswang)

A tipster said the U2 frontman surprised members of his ONE Campaign by popping into town Feb. 22 for a brief visit during which he “thanked the volunteers for their time and dedication to the fight against extreme global poverty.” The pep talk must have worked: ONE aides from more than 44 states were expected to take 222 meetings with House and Senate staffers Tuesday.

And the celeb worship is far from over.

Come Wednesday, the Dirksen Senate Office Building will be the place to be, thanks to dueling hearings featuring a pair of Tinsel Town heavies.

Actor/screenwriter Seth Rogen kicks things of at 2 p.m. by joining ex-Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan., for the second round of questioning during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education hearing about Alzheimer’s. Rogen, whose mother-in-law has the debilitating disease, serves as a “celebrity champion” for the National Alzheimer’s Association.

Not to be outdone, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has snagged Academy Award-winning director — and the next in line to don Batman’s iconic cowl — Ben Affleck for a discussion poised to begin at 2:15 regarding peace prospects in the Republic of Congo. Affleck co-founded the philanthropic Eastern Congo Initiative in 2010.

February 11, 2014

Members of Congress Attending the White House State Dinner

It’s one hot ticket: Not just a State Dinner, but a State Dinner for the president of France, Francois Hollande. How would you like to be the chef in charge of the souffle tonight?

Members of Congress have gotten a lot of cold shoulders from the White House during the Obama presidency, having seen traditional picnics and socials be postponed, then canceled, for instance. So how did the legislative branch come out on the invite list?

A roster from the Office of the First Lady shows 11 current members of Congress on the guest list, although FLOTUS tried goose the number to 12 by promoting Georgia state Rep. Stacey Abrams to federal office by identifying her as “United States Representative (Georgia).” Oh, well. They’ll just have to wait for an intervening election.

Here’s the list of members attending:

Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif.

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md.

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Rep. Harold Rogers, R-Ky.

Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif.

Rep. Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla.

For those of you keeping score at home, that’s eight House members and three senators. Among those, there are seven Democrats and four Republicans.

Noted congressional alumni are former Sen. Max Cleland, D-Ga., who is now secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission; former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., now secretary of Defense, and former Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., currently secretary of State, along with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., formerly the distinguished senator from Delaware.

January 27, 2014

Picturing POTUS in a Different Light

It’s not every day that the leader of the free world invites himself into our collective living room.

Picturing POTUS in a Different Light

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

So it’s very likely that Tuesday’s nationally televised State of the Union address will be the most animated that many Americans will see President Barack Obama all year.

Not so on the Internet, where the artsiest among us expend a great deal of time and energy reimagining what various presidents might look like under different circumstances.

Some unload on conservative policies (such as Ronald Reagan’s famous “trickle down” philosophy):

Picturing POTUS in a Different Light

(Courtesy Egar Enterprises)

 

Full story

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.”

January 9, 2014

Harry Reid Professes His Love for Greg Maddux (Video)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took to the Senate floor Wednesday to congratulate fellow Nevadan and eighth-winningest pitcher in Major League Baseball history, Greg Maddux, for his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame — and for being such a “nice man.”

During the tribute, Reid recalled Maddux’s loyalty and humor in a fitting anecdote from his last re-election race, when the Democratic leader phoned the jock on the golf course to ask him to be a “Republican for Reid.”  After the “Mad Dog” confirmed he’d go to bat for the senator, Reid turned the subject over to the pro’s golf game. “You gonna break 80 today?” he asked.

Maddux’s answer? “If you leave me alone, I can break 70.”

 

 

December 31, 2013

HOH Year in Review: Ode to Semnani Edition

As die-hard HOH fans are undoubtedly aware, this institution underwent a paradigm shift earlier this year when my co-columnist and partner, Neda Semnani, took her leave in order to pursue her dream of becoming a full-fledged author.

HOH Year in Review: Ode to Semnani Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The indomitable yin to my sophomoric yang, Semnani approached each looming deadline with verve and aplomb.

Armed with incisive wit, a healthy amount of skepticism and a burning desire to crawl inside the headspaces of those who make their living from supposedly exercising the will of the vox populi, Semnani fearlessly probed those in power — and their often tragicomic associates — until she got to the heart of what was really going on.

I miss her every day.

Luckily, I’ve got these gems to remind me of how lucky I was to have worked alongside a true congressional junkie. Full story

December 13, 2013

What Ted Cruz Talked About at 10,000 Feet

Before he could make the late Nelson Mandela’s media-mobbed memorial service all about him by very publicly storming out (take that, Cuban President Raul Castro!), Sen. Ted Cruz had to get to South Africa.

His ticket to ride included a lengthy trans-Atlantic jaunt during which several members of the Congressional Black Caucus bent the Texas Republican’s ear about everything from swirling policy initiatives to personal issues.

What Ted Cruz Talked About at 10,000 Feet

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

HOH has confirmed that Cruz, who did not respond to email requests seeking clarification about any interactions whilst traveling, spent at least part of the 40-hour (round trip) voyage getting better acquainted with Reps. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., John Lewis, D-Ga., and Maxine Waters, D-Calif. Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 4:51 p.m.
Freshman, Reps, Sens, VIPs

December 11, 2013

National Press Club Hosts Sid Yudain Memorial Saturday

National Press Club Hosts Sid Yudain Memorial Saturday

(CQ Roll Call archives)

The late Sid Yudain, founding father of Roll Call, will be memorialized at 11 a.m. Saturday at a service in the Holeman Lounge of the National Press Club (529 14th St. NW).

Lael Yudain told HOH the hourlong service would be punctuated by tributes from those closest to her politically connected spouse, a roster that includes their son, Raymond Yudain, and political satirists/comedy pianists Dan Ruskin and Mark Russell, as well as other family members and friends.

The facility can accommodate as many as 150 guests, but Lael Yudain hinted that well-wishers would not be turned away.

“If it’s standing room only, that’s OK with us,” she said.

The event will be followed by an on-site reception.

No word yet on when the actual burial will take place. “We’re still waiting to hear back from Arlington Cemetery,” Lael Yudain said.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 4:59 p.m.
DC, media, VIPs

December 5, 2013

Lech Walesa Gets Another Day at the Capitol

A full house gathered in the Capitol Visitor Center auditorium Wednesday evening to see a new film about the life of Poland’s transformative pro-democracy leader Lech Walesa — and to hear from the man himself.

Lech Walesa Gets Another Day at the Capitol

Walesa, far left, and Dodd, far right, discuss the Cold War under gigantic images of their previous selves. (Photo courtesy of the Embassy of Poland)

The night, as does the Andrzej Wajda film that mixes archival footage with recreated scenes and some dramatic license, focused on Walesa’s rise from an electrician in the shipyard at Gdansk to the leader of the Solidarity Movement, through the fall of communism.

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., told the audience about her own experience watching the events of early 1980s Poland unfold from her home in Baltimore, not long after the elation of the ascension of Poland’s native son Karol Wojtyla to be Pope John Paul II.

“As the summer went on in 1980, all of a sudden we heard something dramatic had happened in Poland. There was a strike in Gdansk shipyard. Some guy named Walesa jumped over a wall. What was going on in Poland? My sisters and I talked to each other. My mother called me,” the Maryland Democrat said. “Everybody was excited and everybody was frightened — what did this mean? Was this the beginning of a beginning, or was this an effort of gallantry, bravery and courage that could end in suppression and repression?”

Full story

November 25, 2013

Turkey Hill Farm Prepares to Welcome Presidential Birds

Turkey Hill Farm Prepares to Welcome Presidential Birds

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

LEESBURG, Va. — Franklin, the one-and-a-half-year-old Bronze turkey who currently has the Morven Park staff all to himself, will be getting some high-profile roomies early next year. That’s when the gobblers President Barack Obama is scheduled to pardon Wednesday afternoon in the Rose Garden will make their way west to their new home, Turkey Hill Farm.

The reprieve for the twin birds coming from Badger, Minn., will mark a quarter-century of forgiveness handed down by consecutively sitting presidents.

Turkey Hill Farm Prepares to Welcome Presidential Birds

(Courtesy Pete Souza/White House)

Previously pardoned presidential birds have been retired to local sites including Frying Pan Park in Herndon, Va., and, most recently, Mount Vernon estate. Of course, being pardoned doesn’t prevent the grim reaper from eventually coming a-calling.

Morven Park spokeswoman Teresa Davenport and the rest of the staff that tends to the sprawling Leesburg estate once owned by the late Virginia Gov. Westmoreland Davis are hoping this year’s turkeys will thrive in their new facility. Full story

November 22, 2013

Georgetowners Toasting JFK in Neighborhood Tribute

Capitol Hill veteran-turned-lobbyist Bill Broydrick on Friday is following in President John F. Kennedy’s historic footsteps, rounding up those who share a postal code with the late Massachusetts Democrat for a commemorative drink.

“My wife Cindi and I live on the same block as President Kennedy did when he was elected President,” Broydrick told HOH in an email, putting himself in the proximity of the love nest JFK and Jackie shared at 3307 N. St. NW during his 1960 campaign. “We have invited all of our neighbors to share a drink and toast to JFK at Martin’s Tavern where JFK asked Jackie to marry him.”

Per Broydrick, this is the first time he’s attempted to orchestrate such a pilgrimage; just more than a dozen neighbors — including the folks currently residing in the old Kennedy roost — have agreed to make the trek. Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 12:03 p.m.
Booze, DC, POTUS, VIPs

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...