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

May 1, 2013

Mini-Golf Returning to National Building Museum, With Barbecue

The National Building Museum is bringing back one of its most popular exhibits, air-conditioned mini-golf courses, from Memorial Day, May 27, to Labor Day, Sept. 2. And it’s bringing along some smoked meat and beer.

This year, the exhibit has been expanded to two nine-hole courses and will again be designed by leading architects. This year’s theme will be “Building the Future” and draws inspiration from things such as green urban planning, the reality of our office space, pinball and others. Full story

April 30, 2013

Larry Flynt Endorses Mark Sanford — Because it Wasn’t all Weird Enough

Because things weren’t weird enough in the special election for South Carolina’s 1st District House seat, what with satirist Stephen Colbert’s sister taking on the world’s foremost Appalachian Trail hiker, now Hustler publisher Larry Flynt has entered the picture.

On Tuesday, calling former Gov. Mark Sanford the “sex pioneer of our time,” Flynt endorsed the one-time Republican House member who in 2009 disappeared for several days for a tryst in Argentina with his then-mistress, now-finacee María Belén Chapur. Sanford’s aides at the time said the governor was hiking the Appalachian Trail, providing generations of comedians and political writers a ready-made euphemism.

“Sanford’s open embrace of his mistress in the name of love, breaking his sacred marriage vows, was an act of bravery that has drawn my support,” Flynt said in a release on his website. It was an endorsement, though, that the smut peddler and free-speech activist made with a few reservations. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 6:38 p.m.

April Is the Cruelest (Rainiest) Month

Pity the tourists who made this week their preferred time to visit the nation’s capital:

April Is the Cruelest (Rainiest) Month

Tourists donned plastic parkas on Monday for their tours around the capital. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Artichoke Week! Not Kidding!

Perhaps there just aren’t enough artichokes in your life.

Thankfully, HOH is here to direct you to friendly neighborhood restaurant Boundary Road (414 H St. NE), which is letting loose with Artichoke Week. Through Friday, drop by for artichoke inspired food, cocktails and wines.

And if an artichoke inspired libation isn’t enough for the artichokiphiles out there, just sample some of Boundary Road’s stock of Cynar, the artichoke liqueur. (We couldn’t make this up if we tried.)

Artichoke Week! Not Kidding!

Boundary Road will sell you Cynar, an artichoke liqueur. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Discerning HOH readers will recall that the Boundary Road gang has kind of thing for challenging drinks. At their one-year anniversary party in February, they offered $5 shots of Becherovka, a mysterious Czech herbal liqueur.

Congressional Women’s Softball Game Rosters Made Public

After months of taunts, bragging and cryptic tweets, the member and press softball teams have finally released their rosters, with lots of new blood on both sides this year.

Female Washington reporters and members meet each June in a softball game that raises money for the Young Survival Coalition, a charity that supports young women diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Each year, when practices begin, I bounce out of bed, bright and early, ready to go, and this week was no exception,” the game’s founder, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said in a release. She went on to note that this year will be both the fifth anniversary of the game and of her own breast cancer survival.

“I cannot imagine a better way to celebrate either accomplishment than by breaking our game’s fundraising record for the Young Survival Coalition and taking the trophy back from the Bad News Babes,” she added.

To which any self-respecting Texan would say, Come and Take It.

The game this year will be June 26. Full story

The Most Uncomfortable Thing You’ll Read Today

The Western Representation Political Action Committee has some pretty passionate beliefs about gun control.

A fundraising email sent out Tuesday morning with the subject line “Criminals Love Gun Control” is essentially a repurposed blog post from earlier in the week. The post was written by “Admin,” though the official fundraising email was signed by Dustin Stockton, WRPAC’s co-founder.

Stockton bolded certain lines throughout the post, and the first bold line of the email is, perhaps, a bit overwrought. The imagery, coupled with the cadence, made us spit out our coffee and feel very uncomfortable for several minutes.

Full story

April 29, 2013

We’ve Collared the Caption | Capitol Quip

Weve Collared the Caption | Capitol Quip

Thanks to the many readers who contributed captions for last week’s Capitol Quip contest. Here’s the winning entry as voted by readers of Heard on the Hill.

The winner will receive a signed color print suitable for framing from Roll Call cartoonist R.J. Matson.

Take Flight With the Latest Caption Contest | Capitol Quip

Take Flight With the Latest Caption Contest | Capitol Quip

Illustrator R.J. Matson’s latest cartoon needs a caption. With Congress passing legislation with all deliberate speed last week to blunt the effect of the sequester’s FAA layoffs — just in time for them to head to the airports we might add — there are any number of good captions awaiting our readers’ wit.

Leave us your caption in the comments section below. Editors will pick five finalists Wednesday and then everyone can vote for the winner until Thursday afternoon. The winner gets a signed print from Matson.

By Jason Dick Posted at 4:29 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Nerd Prom Recap: Familiarity Breeds ‘Meh’

Is the thrill gone?

The Hollywood petting zoo made it back to Washington this past weekend, but to be honest, the whole town seemed a little tired. And the Washington/Hollywood two-in-one punch seemed a little underwhelmed with each other this time around.

This might be because Hollywood and D.C. have seen an awful lot of each other over the past year. Beginning at Nerd Prom 2012, the two have hung out at both the Republican and Democratic national conventions, were intertwined during the 2012 elections, and then convened again for a week of festivities surrounding President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.

Washington even popped by Hollywood’s very own prom season (Golden Globes, Academy Awards) with its own royalty: President Bill Clinton and first lady Michelle Obama, respectively.

So it’s no wonder that by the time this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner week came around, familiarity perhaps bred a shrug of the shoulder.  Full story

Eleanor Holmes Norton to Open New Office in NoMa

Last week, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., announced that she’s moving her district office to NoMa, a neighborhood in Washington’s Northeast quadrant.

“[Norton] received final sign off today on long-term plans to move Norton’s main District office to 90 K Street NE Suite 100located at the corner of 1st and K NE, behind Union Station,” Norton’s office said in a statement, adding that everything should be up and running on Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Norton’s current office at the National Press Club will be closed.

According to the statement, “Norton had to move the office because of new requirements from the administration and the Congress that compel agencies, including congressional district offices, to adopt smaller work spaces for employees in order to save federal funds.”

Welcome to the neighborhood, congresswoman! Your pals at HOH are right across the street at 77 K St. NE.

Elie Wiesel’s Scolding of Clinton Was Weather-Related

One of the most famous public scoldings of a U.S. president was weather-related.

At Monday’s 20-year anniversary of the dedication of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the museum’s founding chairman, Elie Wiesel, recounted that, like 20 years before, it was raining and he was sharing the stage with President Bill Clinton.

“Our shoes were in water,” Wiesel said, a scenario Monday’s planners avoided by having the event in a multipurpose tent that housed thousands of people in between the museum and the Tidal Basin. He also recounted that his dedication speech, which he said he had spent the entire night before refining, was illegible, because it was waterlogged from the rain. “If ever I was close to a heart attack, it was then,” Wiesel said.

Elie Wiesels Scolding of Clinton Was Weather Related

President Bill Clinton, left, and Elie Wiesel at Monday’s 20-year anniversary tribute at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Full story

Frelinghuysen Reunites With Old Army Buddy on the Hill

You know that friend. The one who comes into your life, maybe just briefly, but the one who gets you and accepts you almost instinctively? That friend who, even after years apart, makes it feel like no time has passed when you’re reunited?

Well, last week, after 42 years, Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., was reunited with that friend, according to the American Bar Association.

Frelinghuysen and his former Army commander, Richard Leefe, met outside of the congressman’s office for the first time since serving together in Vietnam.

“We had immediate recognition,” Frelinghuysen told the ABA. “That was an emotional moment.”

Full story

NBA’s Jason Collins Comes Out, Gives Rep. Kennedy Some of the Credit

In the May 6, 2013, issue of Sports Illustrated, NBA center Jason Collins comes out as a proud black, gay man and partially credits Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, D-Mass., for this decision.

“I realized I needed to go public when Joe Kennedy, my old roommate at Stanford and now a Massachusetts congressman, told me he had just marched in Boston’s 2012 Gay Pride Parade,” Collins, a former Boston Celtic now with the Washington Wizards, writes in the magazine. “I’m seldom jealous of others, but hearing what Joe had done filled me with envy.

“I was proud of him for participating but angry that as a closeted gay man I couldn’t even cheer my straight friend on as a spectator. If I’d been questioned, I would have concocted half truths. What a shame to have to lie at a celebration of pride. I want to do the right thing and not hide anymore. I want to march for tolerance, acceptance and understanding. I want to take a stand and say, ‘Me, too.’” Full story

April 26, 2013

Dick Heller Checks Out Rayburn Shooting Range, Army Guns

The man behind the Supreme Court case clearing the way for civilian gun ownership in Washington, D.C., dropped by an Army weapons display outside the Rayburn House Office Building shooting range Thursday afternoon.

In 2008, Dick Heller’s case won in District of Columbia v. Heller. On Thursday, he shot the breeze with a handful of G.I. Joes in the basement of Rayburn.

Dick Heller Checks Out Rayburn Shooting Range, Army Guns

Maj. Kralyn R. Thomas discusses the M107 long-range sniper rifle with Heller. (Julie Ershadi/CQ Roll Call)

Representing a U.S. Army prototyping organization known as Program Executive Office Soldier, the soldiers had set up a weaponry display for the purpose of educating and informing congressional staffers and their bosses, they said.

PEO Soldier is dedicated to prototyping, making and fielding equipment for the U.S. Army. “PEO Soldier manages more than 450 products and programs that are a manifestation of that dedication,” according to the agency’s website.

Dick Heller Checks Out Rayburn Shooting Range, Army Guns

Thomas gives Heller a better view of the sniper rifle. (Julie Ershadi/CQ Roll Call)

Nearby, the Rayburn firearms range operated by the Capitol Police was open for the day to members and staff. Visitors were allowed to shoot 10 rounds, five while wearing night-vision goggles. Afterward, they rode the elevator carrying target sheets bearing shot groups that were, shall we say, less than tight.

“What a surprise,” Heller said after leaving the basement. “There were 12 women and seven guys. That shows you the interest level of women in exploring this man’s world and/or exploring self-defense.”

Taft at the Wolff’s Door

Even presidents have to wait sometimes.

Here, Washington Nationals Racing President Taft waits outside the Library of Congress Members Room to make his appearance. Inside, broadcasting legend Bob Wolff was being feted in celebration of the library’s acquisition of his extensive audio-visual archives, including rare interviews with the likes of Jackie Robinson and Ty Cobb.

Taft at the Wolffs Door

Washington Nationals Racing President Taft waits to make his appearance at a Library of Congress event feting broadcasting legend Bob Wolff. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

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