Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 28, 2014

February 6, 2013

Capitol Quip: Vote for This Week’s Fence Finalists

Capitol Quip: Vote for This Weeks Fence Finalists

CQ Roll Call editors have culled this week’s entries for Capitol Quip and are ready to unveil the five finalists our readers will be able to vote for.

So, using the comments section, vote for your favorite caption until 5 p.m. Thursday. SPECIAL NOTE: If you submit your comment anonymously, we might have some difficulty getting you your signed print if you win. So before cloaking yourself, think about how we can contact you to get you your prize if you’re a winner. If you’re super shy, you can send us an anonymous line that only we will see at hoh@rollcall.com. Thanks for playing!

Here are this week’s finalists:

• “I’m a borderline Democrat.”

• “If Honey Boo Boo is still #1 a year from now, I’m going back!”

• “Guys, I’m not sure we’ve fully thought through the impact we might have on the 2016 presidential race.”

• “Now which way? The GOP or Dems?”

• “This place is a mess. Let’s head back south of the border!”

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog Monday and in the Monday print edition of Roll Call. The contest winner will receive a signed color print of their Capitol Quip cartoon from the cartoonist, R.J. Matson.

By Jason Dick Posted at 7:26 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Thanks for the Plug!

HOH — it’s such a good brand.

Just ask the good folks at Taxpayers for Common Sense, who blasted out a fundraising appeal email on Tuesday to “Dear Fellow Taxpayer” with the subject line “Heard on the Hill.”

In the ask, Taxpayers for Common Sense President Ryan Alexander boasted, “Earlier today I testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on how to eliminate waste and save billions of dollars. … This is what we do. We get in front of Congress and give them solutions.”

Us, too! HOH: We give you solutions.

Thanks, Taxpayers for Common Sense. We didn’t know our missions intersected.

Cardiologists Claim Congress Has Heart

When Sister to Sister, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing heart disease in women, announced it would be on Capitol Hill on Thursday and on Valentine’s Day to help members and their staff get “heart smart,” it set off a discussion not for the faint of heart.

When a tipster from the American College of Cardiology, which is partnering with Sister to Sister on the event, contacted us, she made quite the splash with her claim that “Members of Congress have hearts, too.”

Being trained skeptics, we followed up. “What evidence do you have that members of Congress have hearts?” we asked.

Stephanie Abraham, spokeswoman for the ACC, didn’t hesitate in making sure we knew the difference between scientific fact and theory.

“Hahahah!! Just a theory … more research needed …” Abraham replied to our query.

Just checking.

This will be Sister to Sister’s 10th annual cardiovascular disease prevention program on Capitol Hill.

Former Giffords Intern in Town for Reading

Former Giffords Intern in Town for Reading

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Daniel Hernandez, the lifesaving intern of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, is in town Thursday to read from his book, “They Call Me a Hero: Memoirs From My Youth.” After the Arizona Democrat was shot in January 2011, Hernandez administered first aid until medical professionals arrived.

The title refers to the moniker Hernandez picked up since his actions at Giffords’ fateful Congress on Your Corner event, most prominently echoed by President Barack Obama at a memorial service in Tucson in the days after the shooting.

The reading, sponsored by Politics and Prose, will be held at the Silver Spring, Md., library at 8901 Colesville Road. Hernandez wrote the book with Susan Goldman Rubin for teens.

Bushes Touched By Condolences For Barney

Bushes Touched By Condolences For Barney

(Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush say they are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support they’ve received following the death of their beloved Scottish terrier, Barney, last week.

Bush spokesman Freddy Ford said animal lovers from across the country have offered their condolences and support after the Bushes announced that their playful, armadillo-hunting 12.5-year-old Scottie passed away from cancer.
Full story

The Joy of Accidentally Forwarded Emails

In what is becoming a semi-regular feature at HOH, the Democrats are making us chuckle on their listservs again.

This time the fun is being broadcast all over the Democratic chief of staff and legislative director listservs.

“This is from the ‘Joys of Accidentally Forwarded Emails’ file,” writes our HOH tipster.

On Tuesday afternoon, one diligent staff director sent out an email with the subject line: “New Media Director/Speechwriter.”

“Senior Democratic Member of Congress seeks a New Media Director/Speechwriter for Washington, DC office,” the ad begins. For those who are interested, the job requires speech writing experience and the ability to use social media.

“This is not an entry-level position and experience beyond the intern level is required,” the ad concludes.

The rapid response came from the same office’s “chief counsel and senior strategist.” She replied to both listservs and her colleague that she liked the ad, but would flip the order.

Our tipster, however, was a bit more critical.  Full story

February 5, 2013

Courtney’s Connecticut Quibble With ‘Lincoln’

Courtney’s Connecticut Quibble With ‘Lincoln’

Sally Field and Daniel Day-Lewis star in the Spielberg-directed film “Lincoln.” (Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images)

Rep. Joe Courtney wants Steven Spielberg to stop besmirching Connecticut’s reputation.

“As a Member of Congress from Connecticut, I was on the edge of my seat during the roll call vote on the ratification of the 13th Amendment outlawing slavery,” the Connecticut Democrat wrote to the film director, referencing his viewing of Spielberg’s epic “Lincoln.” Then Courtney lowers the boom:  “But when two or three members of the Nutmeg State’s House delegation voted to uphold slavery, I could not believe my own eyes.”
Full story

House Committee Breaks Bruschetta

Between 45 and 55 members of the House Financial Services Committee attended a members-only dinner Monday at Capitol Hill’s Lavagna on Barracks Row, a rare sign of bipartisan bonhomie.

Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, reportedly paid 54 percent of the roughly $5,000 tab, while ranking member Maxine Waters, D-Calif., paid 46 percent — a division reflecting the panel’s party composition.

Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., tweeted during the meal that the Financial Services Committee was “breaking bread together” at an Italian restaurant. “Dems and Republicans side by side,” Himes tweeted.
Full story

McCaskill Goes Gaga

Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill let her “senator monster” loose this past weekend, banding together with family and friends to catch a Lady Gaga show in St. Louis.

“Not so little, but kinda old monsters going to @LadyGaGa tonight in STL. Me, Joe, Sis, & Br in law, ages from 59 to 75. #youngatheart,” McCaskill alerted her Twitter peeps in anticipation of the flamboyant performer’s “Born This Way Ball World Tour” at the Scottrade Center.

McCaskill’s office did not respond to inquiries regarding her level of fandom or what she thought of this particular show.

Full story

535ish Ways to Look at a Diverse Congress

As we all gear up for tonight’s Congress prom (the Washington Press Foundation’s 69th Annual Congressional Dinner), it’s important to get down your topics of conversation now, while you’re all still sober.

The sequester? Ehh. Might want to leave that one alone.

Chuck Hagel? Maybe not. Looks like he’s going to get confirmed after all.

Upcoming travel to the Dominican Republic? Only if Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., isn’t around.

How about the fact that this is the most diverse Congress is history? We know, we know. A little wonky. But the 113th Congress is the most diverse in history, so why not let fly a few fun facts?

And for that, we’ve got a handy-dandy interactive chart, 535ish Ways to Look at the 113th Congress, that allows you to fiddle with the data and find out, say, how many younger-than-40 Hispanics or female Republicans are in the House. Check it out. Give it a spin. It’ll only be an hour so before Major Garrett takes the mic and emcees the night away.

 

Staffers Screen Academy-Award Nominated Documentary ‘Inocente’ on Capitol Hill

Hill staffers gathered in the Capitol Visitor Center on Tuesday to screen the Academy Award-nominated documentary “Inocente,” the moving story of a teenage undocumented immigrant who attempts to overcome years of homelessness and abuse to realize her dream of becoming an artist.

During filming, Inocente Izucar was a 15-year-old who had spent the past nine years of her life bouncing around from homeless shelter to homeless shelter with her mother and brothers. Never spending more than three months at a time in one place, Izucar never had a place to call home and had, at times, contemplated suicide as a way out of her rough life that had been filled with abuse from her father and mother. Full story

Top 8 Things We Hope Ben Smith Asks Marco Rubio

Viral vid haven BuzzFeed is getting all journalistic on Tuesday evening, pinning down Sen. Marco Rubio at 201 Bar for the debut of political Q&A series dubbed “BuzzFeed Brews.”

The media circus will be emceed by former CQ Roll Caller cum BuzzFeed Washington Bureau Chief John Stanton, while BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith will attempt to peel the onion that is the GOP’s great off-white hope.

Given that the Florida Republican has been interviewed ad nauseam since the tea party catapulted him to Capitol Hill in late 2010, and again this past summer when White House hopeful Mitt Romney flirted with the idea of diversifying his flagging campaign, here’s hoping Smith et al. will hit Rubio with some left-of-center inquiries, including:

Top 8 Things We Hope Ben Smith Asks Marco Rubio

(Courtesy BuzzFeed)

1) Why DO people care about politics? Full story

February 4, 2013

Members to Discuss Civil War’s ‘Unfinished Business’ at ‘Traces of the Trade’ Screening

A white Southern Republican, a black Southern Democrat and a white Northern Democrat walk into an event on race relations …

It sounds like the beginning of an amusing, yet unlikely, story. But in this case, it’s true. Reps. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and David Cicilline, D-R.I., are heading to the Reserve Officers Association at 1 Constitution Ave. NE on Tuesday evening for a screening of the documentary “Traces of the Trade: A Story From the Deep North.” The movie will be followed by a discussion on race, culture and the legacy of the Civil War for the North and South.
Full story

‘Pascrell’ Headed to NFL Hall of Fame?

New Jersey residents must have been relatively surprised to read Sunday that one of their congressmen was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“NFL Hall of Fame Taps Pascrell, Snubs Strahan,” the front page of the Bergen Record trumpeted.

This was a bit of a shock to Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-N.J.
Full story

Roskam Surprises McCarthy With Birthday Portrait

Roskam Surprises McCarthy With Birthday Portrait

(Courtesy Peter Roskam)

Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California is supposed to know what all his members are up to, but he got a birthday surprise on Monday night.

No, it wasn’t a successful whip count or even a member refusing to vote for a leadership-endorsed bill. It was a painting.

Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam, R-Ill., surprised the California Republican, who turned 48 on Jan. 26, with a oil-on-canvas portrait of McCarthy and his wife Judy, hand-painted by Roskam’s wife, Elizabeth.

“He doesn’t know a thing about it and he’s a tough guy to catch flat footed because he usually knows everything that’s going on in the conference,” Roskam said. “Kevin McCarthy is always the guy who’s watching out for other members, so this is an opportunity for him to get recognized.” Full story

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