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

April 9, 2013

Even Senators Have to Call Their Parents

Think members of Congress aren’t subject to the same stuff as us mortals? Think again.

Even senators have to call their parents!

Check out the following Tuesday photos of Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., who is seen clutching his daily schedule. The one item in bold? “Call Your Dad.” Despite being a member of the world’s greatest deliberative body, no one gets off easy on the homefront.

Even Senators Have to Call Their Parents

Murphy clutches his daily schedule. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call.)

Even Senators Have to Call Their Parents

“Call Your Dad” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)


Quorans Clueless About Congress

Because we are nothing if not dedicated to civic journalism, HOH will field some of the burning questions about our elected officials currently piling up on existentialistic clearinghouse Quora:

Quorans Clueless About Congress


Depends on who gets more camera time. Also, Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell MIGHT have a different succession plan in mind.


Quorans Clueless About Congress


Crazy fun? The maniacally outraged James A. Traficant Jr.

Crazy mean? Pete Stark was quite the curmudgeon.

Crazy hot? We’ll defer to POTUS on this one. Full story

April 8, 2013

Taste the Plain? Not on Our Watch

With the NCAA crown on the line, House Democratic Reps. John D. Dingell and John Yarmuth contributed to “March Madness” by pinning their boozy hopes and ravenous dreams on the Michigan Wolverines and Louisville Cardinals, respectively.

As usual, the winner is expected to feast on regional specialties culled from the loser’s district. Which, at least in this case, includes fast food.

Because of the lack of specificity from both sides, HOH felt obligated to help sweeten the potential pot.
Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 6:42 p.m.

Take Five

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for Take Five, HOH’s chance to get to know a member better through five fun questions. This week, Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., talks about the Rolling Stones, dogs in the office and his heroes.
Full story

In Washington, the Bard’s the Thing

The Shakespeare Theatre Company is gearing up for its spring season with its annual Will on the Hill event, which provides members of Congress and the journalists who cover them the chance to perform. The D.C. theater’s spring season might be one of its best yet, with its exploration of the intersection of Washington drama and the dramatic arts. And it aims to raise a little money in the process.
Full story

Will Reid and McConnell Road-Trip To Springfield?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants a piece of his Republican counterpart’s basketball action.

HOH already reported that Kentuckian Mitch McConnell, Minority Leader and the Senate’s No. 1 Louisville Cardinals fan, will be in Atlanta for tonight’s national championship game against the University of Michigan. But Reid had his own cause for basketball celebration with Monday’s confirmation that Jerry Tarkanian, the former coach of the University of Nevada Las Vegas Runnin’ Rebels, would be inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

“Nobody has brought more recognition to Nevada athletics and UNLV than Coach Tarkanian. Jerry is a legendary coach and he was a mentor to so many individuals over the years,” Reid said in a statement. “By bringing the best out of his players on and off the court, Jerry built a first-rate basketball program that Nevadans are fiercely proud of.”

When the coach’s son Danny Tarkanian ran for the House last year as a Republican, Reid took a swing at the younger Tarkanian’s financial woes but also highlighted his own role in helping the elder Tarkanian deal with repeated NCAA inquiries. Full story

Bennie Thompson’s Doing It Wrong

Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson is ready to make the bold leap from one social media timesuck to the next:

Bennie Thompsons Doing It Wrong


Too bad his gallery is woefully bare:

Bennie Thompsons Doing It Wrong


Gun jumper or champion of minimalism? Only time will tell…

Quora Cuts ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner Down to Size

Some political observers believe in the awesome power of forgiveness, the inspirational nature of redemption and mankind’s inherent ability to evolve.

Quora Cuts ex Rep. Anthony Weiner Down to Size


Quora comedian Clayburn Griffin is NOT one of those people.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 4:21 p.m.

Thatcher’s Death Makes Rep. Stockman Ready to Crush Liberals

Texas Rep. Steve Stockman is broken up about the passing of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and is burning his way through the Kubler-Ross stages of grief.

According to an impassioned release sent Monday morning, Stockman is well into the second stage of grief: anger. The five steps are, of course, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and, finally, acceptance.

Everyone’s grieving process varies, so Stockman’s doing a great job. The important thing is to feel the emotions and express them. In fact, even the headline of Stockman’s official press release really paints a picture of how he is feeling, not only about Baroness Thatcher, but also about liberals and leftists.

“Thatcher would want us to ‘fight on, fight to win’ and crush liberalism,” the release proclaims. A picture of Stockman and Thatcher is included on one side.

The first paragraph opens with expressions of sadness, which are appropriate and understandable when a great statesperson passes, but soon the tone shifts and Stockman begins comparing Thatcher with President Barack Obama.

“Where Obama failed,” he says, “Thatcher succeeded. While Obama forges chains of dependency and government bloat, Baroness Thatcher took a sledgehammer to the machinery of liberalism.”

He then goes on to slam, bludgeon and take down liberals and all those on the political left. Whatever else is clear, Thatcher’s passing has truly energized the congressman to take action.

“The best way to honor Margaret Thatcher is to crush liberalism and sweep it into the dustbin of history,” he says. ”What are you doing this morning to defeat liberal politicians?”

What was Stockman doing? Expressing himself.

Thatchers Death Makes Rep. Stockman Ready to Crush Liberals
Calls and emails to Stockman’s office were not immediately returned.

April 7, 2013

Messaging on the Cheap

President Barack Obama caught some grief last week after heading on over to Colorado to rally support for his expanded gun control push.

The April 3 visit, which critics decried as opportunistic — the state lays claim to two of the worst mass shootings in recent U.S. history, the 1999 assault on Columbine High School and the 2012 massacre at the Century Aurora multiplex — also came at a cost to taxpayers, vis-a-vis the bucks required to fuel up Air Force One.

Now, far be it from us to tell “44” when and where he can drag out the bully pulpit.

But given that we are now living in a post-sequester world, perhaps POTUS could grandstand a little closer to home and pivot to some back-burner priorities.
Full story

Cedric Richmond Shows Social Media Moxie

Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, the New Orleans Democrat known for smoking Republicans with his pitching skills during the annual CQ Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game, added another notch to his social media belt by joining Instagram last week.

Richmond told HOH that he decided to launch the account to give his constituents a peek into the life of a member of Congress.

“I thought it would be something unique to try and figure out,” Richmond added.
Full story

Fattah: Through the Google Glass

Is reaching into your pocket for your smartphone just too hard? Have you smacked into a pole while looking down at your gadget? Are you a constant disappointment to family and friends because you’re distracted by your gadgets?

Well, Google Glass may not be able to help completely, but it will certainly get you to look up.

Google’s latest technology is being tested by a few intrepid “explorers,” among them former Speaker and GOP presidential nominee Newt Gingrich and one of his staffers, as well as Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa.
Full story

Capitol Quip: Taking Liberties

Capitol Quip: Taking Liberties

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. And remember, when you sign in to the comments section, make sure you give us a way to get a hold of you, either through email, Twitter or Facebook.

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

Capitol Quip: Your Chance to Blossom

Capitol Quip: Your Chance to Blossom

The cherry blossoms might be late in blooming, but Capitol Quip is right on time!

Roll Call cartoonist R.J. Matson has another cartoon for your quippy consideration this week. Submit your caption in the comments section below. Editors will pick five finalists to go before readers for a vote. We’ll let you know the five finalists Wednesday afternoon, and readers will have until 5 p.m. EDT Thursday to pick their favorite.

And when you sign in to the comments section, make sure to leave us a way to get in contact with you, be it email, Twitter or Facebook. If your caption wins, we’ll need to be able to get you your signed copy of the print!

April 5, 2013

Senators Appreciate Mike Tyson’s Support

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., have picked up a curious ally in their push to secure a presidential pardon for boxing legend Jack Johnson.

The two lawmakers have been joined by former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson to encourage President Barack Obama to posthumously pardon Johnson, a black man who was arrested for violating the Mann Act for “transporting women across state lines for immoral purposes.” Tyson started the Jack Johnson petition on

“Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight boxing champion of the world, is long overdue a pardon,” Tyson writes on the site. “Johnson paved the way for black boxers like me.”

Pardoning Johnson has become a cause celeb in recent years, complete with a YouTube plea:

And a Ken Burns documentary:

Full story

By Neda Semnani Posted at 5:02 p.m.

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