Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 1, 2015

June 4, 2013

Gingrich Lobbies to Slap Wife on Beer Bottle

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich doesn’t use his enduring clout to support just any old vanity project. But he will, apparently, go to bat for the chance to plaster an image of his platinum-tressed third wife, Callista, on a craft brew bottle.

Gingrich Lobbies to Slap Wife on Beer Bottle

(Courtesy Stevens Point Brewery)

At the moment, Callista Gingrich appears to be leading the field of exactly two applicants vying for the honor of being the next Drop Dead Blonde poster girl. Full story

Lisa Murkowski’s George Clooney Moment

It’s a long way from D.C. to Alaska … long enough to make Republican Lisa Murkowski the million-mile senator.

Murkowski posted to Facebook on Monday night that on her flight back to D.C. after the Memorial Day recess, she found out she had achieved million-mile status on Alaska Airlines.

Lisa Murkowskis George Clooney Moment

Murkowski still has about 9 million miles to go to match George Clooney’s character’s total in the 2009 movie “Up in the Air,” but the good news is that unlike Clooney’s Ryan Bingham, the people of Alaska seem to like her enough that they’ve continued to elect her.

Many thanks to Murkowski spokesman Matthew Felling for flagging.

June 3, 2013

Pelosi Promotes Takei Cameo

NASA released a special “It Gets Better” video for national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride month.

And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi couldn’t help but clue everyone in to a cheeky Easter egg featuring actor and gay rights advocate George Takei:

For our money, it does not get any better than basking in Takei’s highly infectious, bass-filled chuckle.

Grannies, Mystics Hoop It Up on Hill

That bouncing noise in the Cannon House Office Building on Tuesday is the sound of grandmothers in better shape than you.

Title IX passed decades ago, but that doesn’t mean that all’s fair in men’s and women’s athletics. On Tuesday, just weeks before the 41st anniversary of the Title IX passage, the American Association of University Women will hold a basketball clinic and various other activities to get Congress to focus on increasing compliance with the law — and they’re bringing their grannies with them.

It all starts with a basketball clinic in the Cannon Caucus Office. Four members of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics will coach 20 D.C. public school girls on the skills integral to the game. After the clinic, the program “Grade School to Grannies: The Importance of Women’s and Girls’ Participation in Sports across the Life Span” will briefly switch gears. Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, D-N.Y., AAUW CEO Linda D. Hallman and documentary filmmaker Angela Alford will briefly address the group.

Alford directed the film “Granny’s Got Game,” which chronicles the Fabulous 70s, a senior women’s hoops team shooting for gold at the senior Olympics. Members of Congress and their staffs will have a chance to shoot hoops on a miniature court in the Cannon Caucus Room, with the Fabulous 70s refereeing, all while the film rolls in the background.

“Title IX has made enormous strides toward gender equity in athletics, but we need greater Title IX compliance in education overall to use the landmark law to its full potential,” Hallman said in a statement.

Slaughter added: “Watching women who have achieved the pinnacle of athletic success in professional sports play alongside a group of septuagenarians who are still shooting hoops — and winning gold medals — reminds us that it’s never too late to realize the benefits of athletic activity.”

After the official event, the Fabulous 70s will lobby members of Congress to support the High School Data Transparency Act, which would require high schools to publicly report basic data on the number of female and male students in athletic programs and expenses made for the sports teams.

“These women, who are still playing basketball at 75 years old, are a testimony to what sports can mean to girls. Basketball has given them a lifetime of exercise, fun, and friendship,” Alford said.

Grijalva Does His Best Bill Nye

Arizona Democratic Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva got all science guy during the recess, dropping knowledge about his problems with the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline:

“You don’t have to be a congressman in a borrowed lab coat to do the math,” he asserts in this three-minute chemistry lesson, saying job-creation estimates of up to 250,000 jobs are way off, according to a recent study by Cornell University.

Together with his “able assistant” Adam, he encourages people to “go get yourself some tar sands. Invite your neighbors over” and conduct your own experiments to see how difficult it is to clean up a potential tar sand spill.


Coincidentally, I’m not actually a journalist. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night …

Bon Voyage, Frank!

New Jersey Democrat Frank R. Lautenberg died this morning, officially closing the book on the oldest member of the Senate.


Bon Voyage, Frank!

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rather than dwell on his passing, we choose to remember all he contributed to our humble gossip section, including the time his devoted staff all sported the same ‘do in solidarity, his unwavering stance in the Boss vs. Bon Jovi debate and the magical day a Jonas Brother popped by to talk shop.

Godspeed, Sen. Lautenberg!

June 2, 2013

The GOP Unity Ticket? | Capitol Quip

The GOP Unity Ticket? | Capitol Quip

Illustrator R.J. Matson’s latest cartoon needs a caption.

While you were at the beach last week, the tea party’s favorite lawmaker, Minnesota GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann, decided not to run for re-election. Funny thing though, her announcement kind of coincided with former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole’s, R-Kan., decision to criticize the direction Bachmann and other conservative purists have taken the party. There should be a lot of good fodder there, so have at it!

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.

No Bad Apples Here | Capitol Quip

No Bad Apples Here | 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.

May 31, 2013

Frankens Go Gaga for Grandson

Minnesota Democrat Al Franken and his wife, Franni, have fallen (hard) for their first grandson, Joseph Bryson Greenwald.

Frankens Go Gaga for Grandson

Al Franken)" src="" width="399" height="298" /> (Courtesy Al Franken)

“Somehow, in the last few hours, Franni and I have already managed to spoil the baby,” Franken gushed May 31 in a release announcing the arrival of his extended brood.

The bouncing baby boy weighs 6 pounds, 11 ounces, and mom, Thomasin Franken, is reportedly doing well.

Congrats, Team Franken!

By Warren Rojas Posted at 5:24 p.m.

Softball: Joyce Beatty Practices With Ohio State Team

Softball: Joyce Beatty Practices With Ohio State Team

(Courtesy Rep. Joyce Beatty)


Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, spent Thursday morning working out with the Ohio State University’s softball team, CQ Roll Call has confirmed.

Beatty is only 27 days away from her debut in the Women’s Congressional Softball Game, an annual softball match that pits female members of Congress against women in the Washington press corps.

Full story

The Interns Are Coming! The Interns Are Coming!

It’s that time of year again. The start of those long, swampy months when true Washingtonians trudge into offices, swipe at mosquitoes and rely on interns to pick up their slack. That’s right, everyone. The interns are coming.

Don’t worry: We’re definitely not rewarding them for a few months of tedium with a livable wage, but they do get InternsRock and a whole week of appreciation through citywide discounts.

June 7-16, newly arrived interns can make their way to events across D.C. that will celebrate their arrival with several “meet and greets” and contests around the city. Interns should also register for a free key-tag, which will get them discounted Nationals baseball tickets, lower rate Vida Fitness gym memberships and discounts at more than 60 bars, shops and restaurants around D.C. for the entire summer.

Intern Appreciation Week will kick off with a June 7 “meet and greet” at BlackFinn DC and Town’s Tavern and a “Welcome to the Jungle” party at the Sign of the Whale. On June 10 there will be another gathering at McFadden’s Restaurant and Saloon. These drinking holes boast specials such as $3 brews and all-you-can-drink times. There will also be special intern nights in bars across the city.

Lord, help us: The interns may be arriving as a fresh-faced swarm, but they’ll be a drunken mob pretty dang quickly.

May 30, 2013

‘Smoke Show’ Democrat Could Have Home at Conservative Pub

Assuming no congressional office has already called dibs, the forward-thinking folks at the Washington Free Beacon want the smoldering Seminole with her heart set on working for free in D.C. to know they’ve reserved a special place just for her.

The online paper Thursday jumped into the bidding war for the jobless “smoke show” that HOH told you about Wednesday. Her GOP staffer friend had gamely advertised — via a congressional email list — her physical attributes but lamented that because she was a Democrat, he was having trouble finding her a job.

The Free Beacon summarily browbeat those who had chosen to fixate on the Florida State University alumna’s looks instead of applying the “walk and chew gum” standard of hiring practices.

“I’d like to remind everyone, Hill internship coordinators and scolding scolds alike, how qualified does one have to be to become an intern at Congressional office?” Associate Editor Robert Charette argued via his company-sponsored blog. “Can she answer a phone professionally and not get her tour lost in the Capitol? Sign her up!”

Full story

Cornyn Drones On

Texas Republican John Cornyn spent part of his recess tooling around a naval base admiring examples of our unmanned air support:

Cornyn Drones On

(Courtesy Facebook)

Full story

May 29, 2013

How ‘Bout Them Apples? | Capitol Quip

How Bout Them Apples? | Capitol Quip

The five finalists for this week’s caption contest are ready for your votes.

Using the comments section below, vote for your favorite caption until 5 p.m. EDT Thursday.

Here are this week’s finalists:

  • While the App costs $5.99, it saves you billions.
  • Genius? Who needs a genius when we’ve got Congress?
  • This is our newest product: The iEvade!
  • The brogue takes some getting used to but the tax savings are worth it.
  • If avoiding paying taxes is your thing, we have an App for that.

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog June 3 and in that day’s print edition of Roll Call. The contest winner will receive a signed color print of his or her Capitol Quip cartoon from the cartoonist, R.J. Matson.

By Emily Pierce Posted at 6:29 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Art and Soul Gets Grilling

Art and Soul has retired the crab boils they’ve indulged in the past few summers in favor of weekly pig and oysters roasts debuting tonight at 5:30 p.m.

Art and Soul Gets Grilling

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The patio-wide event can be experienced two ways: a $35, 3-course tasting menu or via a la carte snacking of hand carved, heritage pig parts ($5 a pop for your choice of ear, cheek, tongue, jowl, trotters or tail meat). Reservations are recommended, but a restaurant spokeswoman said walk-ins are welcome from 5:30-8:30 pm — or until they run out.

Art and Soul Gets Grilling

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Full story

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