Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 25, 2014

March 6, 2013

Swirling Storm Taunts D.C. From Cyberspace

The nation’s capital has fallen victim to a lobbying campaign that has, at least so far, produced plenty of paranoia but little of actual substance — save for a smart alec Twitter feed.

 

Swirling Storm Taunts D.C. From Cyberspace

(Screenshot)

For days now, winter lovers have hung on the every cautionary word spewed by radar-tracking meteorologists, who all warned the area to expect to slog through inches — nay, a foot! — of powdery precipitation.

Pre-emptive school and office closings went into effect even though the streets are black as pitch and the current accumulation wouldn’t overflow your average snow cone.

Not that that’s stopped @Snowquester from talking mad smack.

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March 5, 2013

Twitter Unrepresents Popular Opinion

And now, some news that will come as a surprise to all of us Beltway-bubble, Twitter-addicted political types: Reaction on Twitter to major political events is often very different from measured public opinion.

According to a new yearlong study by the Pew Research Center, Twitter reaction to political events and policy changes is often much more partisan — and much more negative — than the scientifically gathered data on public opinion.

In layman’s terms, the general public does not agree with the snarkiness all of us Capitol Hill denizens and flacks spill on Twitter about the news of the hour.
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Inouye Gets Played by Imagination Stage

Former Sen. Daniel K. Inouye will be honored Wednesday at Bethesda’s Imagination Stage via a spirited performance of the Japanese folk tale “Anime Momotaro,” a posthumous shoutout that’s already ballooned past capacity.

The guest list for the tribute show, scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Theatre, has swelled to 475, with more than four dozen others on standby to attend.

An Imagination Stage aide told HOH that Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, won’t be physically present but sent a memoriam missive to be printed in the program, while fellow Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz will have his say via video greeting. Inouye’s wife, Irene, and son, Ken, are expected to attend.

The pop culture phenomenon, which marries an age-old Japanese story with the frenetic styling of fanboy-wooing ’toons, originated at the Honolulu Theatre for Youth, a program Inouye supported. He’d also agreed to be the honorary patron of the show before his death earlier this winter.

The play closes on March 10.

King Punches Up Fight Card

Looks like grappling with crippling budget cuts and mixing it up with administration officials is no longer enough for New York Republican Peter T. King. The headstrong House member is poised to go toe-to-toe with a professional bruiser during “Battle of the Champions 8” at Mulcahy’s Pub in Wantagh, N.Y.

King, a boxing enthusiast, told HOH he elected to step into the ring Saturday for an exhibition against “Irish” Josh Foley, the current World Kickboxing Association New York State Super Middleweight Champion, as a favor to his personal trainer — and fight promoter — Chris Cardona.

The last time King traded blows in a non-legislative capacity was 1991, when he squared off against former heavyweight contender Seamus McDonagh in an exhibition bout commemorating the 20th anniversary of the first Joe Frazier-Muhammad Ali tussle.
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D.C. Budget Pint Fight!

Local activists trying to win budget autonomy for the District plan to raise funds — along with plenty of pints of DC Brau — Tuesday night during their inaugural DC Budget Freedom Happy Hour at Meridian Pint (3400 11th St. NW).

Bartenders at the Columbia Heights craft-beer mecca will pour $4 DC Brau Public Ale drafts from 5 to 8 p.m., with 100 percent of proceeds from the first three kegs going directly to the campaign for a referendum to untangle the city’s budget from the congressional appropriations process.

With seven weeks remaining before the April 23 special election, DC Vote is working to spread support for Home Rule Charter Amendment Referendum 8. If passed, it would allow the city to spend its approximately $6 billion a year in locally raised tax dollars and avoid the anxiety that shrouds city government officials each time Capitol Hill nears a spending standoff.

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Lanny Davis’ Reading Is Scandalous

Professional scandal mopper-upper Lanny J. Davis is throwing a big party at The Hamilton on Tuesday night in anticipation of his new book, “Crisis Tales: Five Rules for Coping With Crises in Business, Politics, and Life.”

We were told to get there early because it is going to be packed with Davis’ friends, associates and former clients. Expected guests include the crème de la crème of political Washington, including former Clinton White House Communications Director Mike McCurry, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist, former Pennsylvania Govs. Edward G. Rendell and Tom Ridge, former head of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele, Supreme Court litigator Ted Olson and ABC “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos and many others, including a powerful woman or two. Full story

March 4, 2013

The U.S.S. Ted Stevens

Proving once again that Congress is still about relationships, appropriators have at least found something on which they can agree: naming a warship after a late colleague.

The spending bill unveiled Monday by the House contains a provision expressing the sense of the Senate that the next large naval warship be named for former Senate Appropriations Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.

Stevens, who died in an August 2010 plane crash in his beloved home state, served at various points over the decades as the chairman and ranking member on the subcommittee in charge of the Pentagon’s budget. Stevens had been in the Army Air Corps during World War II.

Senate appropriators tucked the provision into their defense spending bill last year, adopting an amendment during an August markup championed by Stevens’ longtime friend and “brother,” Chairman Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii, along with the panel’s top Republican at the time, Thad Cochran of Mississippi. Inouye himself died in December. Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski also spoke in support of the U.S.S. Ted Stevens designation at the meeting.

“Ted Stevens didn’t play favorites with the — the various services. He loved them all. He embraced them all,” Murkowski said. “Whether you were an airman, a solider, a Coast Guard man, a sailor, Ted Stevens was there for our military.”

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 6:53 p.m.
HillSide

Take Five

Take Five

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s Tuesday again, which means it’s time for Take Five, when HOH gets to hang out with a member of Congress and get to know him or her better through five fun questions. This week, we sit down with Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas, who at times loses himself in fly fishing.
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Public to POTUS: Cut. It. Out.

Public to POTUS: Cut. It. Out.

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s the Monday after the sequester began to take effect. And the lights are still on! (Woohoo!)

More importantly, the Internet is still on — and that’s all any armchair lawmaker needs these days to broadcast policy prescriptions for a shinier, happier America. At least, that’s what we gathered from the latest slate of anti-sequester pleas posted on the White House’s “We the People” petition forum.

To be fair, President Barack Obama does sound like he could use all the help he can get with unraveling the across-the-board budget cuts that Congress agreed to last fall.

“I think everybody knows where I stand on this issue. … It’s not the right way for us to go about deficit reduction,” he told the press after convening the first Cabinet meeting of his second term. “I will continue to seek out partners on the other side of the aisle so that we can create the kind of balanced approach of spending cuts, revenues, entitlement reform that everyone knows is the right way to do that.”

That’s nice, sir. But the vox populi wants its pound of flesh.

Full story

Bob Ney Eyes The Monocle for Book Event

Former Rep. Bob Ney, the former buddy to Jack Abramoff and powerful House Administration chairman who went to prison for his misdeeds, is back in Washington, D.C., to promote his new book.

“Sideswiped: Lessons Learned Courtesy of the Hit Men of Capitol Hill” is being released Tuesday, and the Ohio Republican will be at the Senate-side restaurant The Monocle from 5 to 7:30 Wednesday evening to promote it.

“After some soul searching, a lot of aggravation, & some fun — IT’S HERE! Yes, I may need some bodyguards if I visit D.C.,” Ney tweeted recently, along with a link to the book.
Full story

Cherry Blossom Mania in Full Bloom

It’s official: The cherry blossoms are on their way.

If you, like HOH, were wondering about the lingering winter weather and distinct lack of springtime feeling around Washington, D.C., lately, worry no more.

Monday morning at the Newseum, the National Park Service announced this year’s prediction for the peak blooming dates of Washington’s famous cherry blossoms.
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CNN’s Candy Crowley: She’s With the Band

World, consider yourself now enlightened to what everyone at the CNN Washington bureau already knows: Candy Crowley is a comic genius and game for pretty much anything.

To wit, her son Jonathan’s band, Vinyette, released a video over the weekend of her shamelessly promoting its new song, “Meatball Love Tone.”

In the video, the “State of the Union” moderator emotively explains over the phone her “Meatball Love Tone” fandom during the final moments before she goes on air.

Full story

Capital Pride Seeks ‘Heroes’ Nominations

Calling all Washington, D.C.-area Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender activists and supporters: Capital Pride, the nonprofit that hosts the annual Capital Pride Parade and Festival, is seeking nominations for its annual Heroes award.

The award — which will be given out at the organization’s Capital Pride Heroes Gala on May 29 – honors individuals who have worked to affect D.C.’s LGBT community in a positive way, either through bold-faced activism or quiet diligence. Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 1:30 p.m.
HillSide

March 3, 2013

Prayer, to No Avail

If one believes in prayer, then the sequester didn’t have to come to pass.

Prayer warrior Rocky Twyman of the Pray at the Pump movement marched to the Capitol the day before the sequester hit, hoping to raise his voice with fiscally frustrated lawmakers anxious to circumvent the anticipated across-the-board budget cuts.

Turns out supplicants were in short supply.

“Our attempts to get congresspersons to pray were futile. Everybody had excuses,” he told HOH. “Congress is gone for the weekend. Nobody cares about us.”

Capitol Quip: Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

Capitol Quip: Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

Roll Call cartoonist R.J. Matson has submitted another image for your consideration this week. Submit your caption in the comments section below. Editors will pick five finalists Wednesday to go before readers for another 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. See more.

By Jason Dick Posted at 7:30 p.m.
Capitol Quip

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