Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 31, 2014

June 1, 2014

A Burr Under the VA’s Saddle | Capitol Quip

 A Burr Under the VAs Saddle | 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. Check out our past winners on Pinterest.

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

May 30, 2014

Jose Canseco Swings for the OPM Fences

Former Major League Baseball star Jose Canseco is done with being just Twitter famous. He wants into the big show.

 

The all-star slugger turned reality TV go-to dusted off his #yeswecanseco slogan Friday — you know, the one he used during his short-lived bid to unseat embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford — in order to lobby President Barack Obama for exiting White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s post.

Canseco’s Twinterview was short, but quite telling.

He provided insights into his:

Management skills

 

Full story

Ralph Hall Loves Making the Rounds

A House GOP aide said her boss was pleasantly surprised to spot one seemingly unflappable early bird buzzing about 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Friday morning: Rep. Ralph M. Hall.

Ralph Hall Loves Making the Rounds

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

According to our tipster, the bright eyed and bushy tailed Texas Republican, who was edged out of office Tuesday by primary challenger John Ratcliffe, was busy showing constituents around the White House before 8 a.m. (which is WAY earlier than some gossip columnists roll out of bed).

Our spy said the boss didn’t recall bumping into the nonagenarian lawmaker all that often around the Oval Office.

“He’s not among the ‘regular’ members that my boss will run into for WH tours,” the aide suggested, listing Reps. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., and John Shimkus, R-Ill., as the most familiar faces to her employer. “My boss was more just impressed with the good action given the week he’s [Hall] had.”

Per Team Hall, it’s just business as usual.

“Rep. Hall enjoys spending time with constituents visiting D.C. and accompanies constituents to the White House whenever possible,” spokeswoman Adrienne Rimmer said of the four person group Hall showed around this morning. That reservation actually came in Tuesday morning, Rimmer specified, adding that the office confirmed the visit Wednesday.

And Hall, apparently, has no plans to stop giving his supporters a peek inside official Washington.

According to Rimmer, the office calendar is rapidly filling up with tour requests — 15 confirmed, 46 pending and four still being vetted, all for June — and the summer’s only just begun.

“He [Hall] enjoys serving 4th District constituents and will be working just as hard on their behalf the next six months as he has during the past 33 years,” she asserted.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 4:17 p.m.
Baller, DC, Reps

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of May 26 (Video)

It may have been a short work week, but members still found the time to discuss the pros and cons of pets using pot, their relations to Mark Wahlberg and the lifespan of Twinkies.

Adam Schiff Mounts Most Grueling Endurance Challenge Yet

Adam Schiff Mounts Most Grueling Endurance Challenge Yet

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Marathon enthusiast and Rep. Adam B. Schiff is switching sports this weekend to help support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. He’s scheduled to hop into the saddle Sunday for the AIDS/LifeCycle ride — a weeklong trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

“That is gonna be a long ride,” he said of the 545-mile trek he’s hoping to power through from June 1-7.

The California Democrat is no slouch. He’s completed endurance races staged in the District, Philadelphia, New York City and Malibu, Calif., over the past few years.

But Schiff noted that he typically does Olympic length triathlons; the predetermined biking portions in those particular contests top out at around 25 miles.

He’ll need to crank out around 80 miles a day to keep pace with the LifeCycle crew. And he said the longest ride he’s been on to date was the 65-miler he knocked out last weekend.

“It felt pretty good. But it was hard,” Schiff said of the first metric century he got under his belt.  Full story

May 29, 2014

Redskins Magically Fumble Senate Shaming Campaign

They may not be much for winning on any given Sunday. But man, oh man, do the Washington Redskins know how to keep things interesting.

 

 

Their latest attempt at generating positive press in the face of months years decades of criticism stemming from an unwavering commitment to what a growing chorus of opponents perceive to be a grossly insensitive moniker couldn’t have been more of a disaster, as the incredibly overconfident front office tried to turn the tables on Capitol Hill by urging fans to flood the social media feeds of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., with pro-Skins rhetoric.

The public relations audible comes just one week after half the Senate petitioned NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to follow NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s lead on Donald Sterling and big-foot Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.

The Internet, naturally, exploded.

And not exactly the way D.C.’s embattled football club likely envisioned.

Sure, some supportive tweets broke through here and there.

But the online discourse also veered into all kinds of morale-dampening territory, including:

 

  • Revisiting White Power advocacy

 

 

Full story

Hospitality Vet Handicaps Taste of America Tourney

Journeyman toque Colin Abernethy was simply beside himself when he learned about what is going on in the regional grudge match that is Roll Call’s annual Taste of America showdown.

“I’m sorry, but no love for WV and its pepperoni rolls or Tudor’s biscuits? This vote is a sham!” the seasoned chef scolded the TOAverse after discovering that the much beloved West Virginia pepperoni roll was alive, but apparently not doing as well as the dominating lobster roll, in this year’s gustatory gauntlet.

Hospitality Vet Handicaps Taste of America Tourney

(CQ Roll Call Photo Illustration)

The bracket-style challenge began on May 12 and features four rounds of public voting, through June 20. The winner will be crowned on June 25 at a reception during the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

Instead of bellyaching about the current state of affairs, Abernethy vowed to get politically active.

“There’s still hope for the pepperoni roll as I just notified a bunch of Facebook friends about it lagging behind,” the naturally competitive chef assured us of his campaigning efforts.

More importantly, he agreed to put on his thinking cap and plot out the culinary carnage looming just ahead: Full story

May 28, 2014

Bacon or Ice Cream? Taste of America, Round Deux, Will Decide

Round Two of this year’s Roll Call Taste of America is underway, with last year’s champ, West Virginia’s Pepperoni Roll, after polishing off Boston Cream Pie in Round One, facing off against Delaware Boardwalk Fries.

The West Virginia-Delaware matchup isn’t the only Mid-Atlantic throwdown. Maryland Crab Cakes and D.C. Half-Smokes are also going mano a mano in the Round of 32 for bragging rights.

In intriguing comfort food contests, it’s hard to beat the beef bragging rights at, ahem, stake, in the Montana Steak versus Idaho Steak Fingers fight. And how can one resolve the Missouri Ice Cream Cone and Iowa Bacon question?

Vote early, vote often, as the purveyors of Chicago politics (and deep dish pizza!) might say.

By Jason Dick Posted at 5:17 p.m.
Food, Nationwide

Long Live the Twitter Algorithm!

The professional friend finders over at Twitter must not know what to make of us.

Long Live the Twitter Algorithm!

(CQ Roll Call Photo Illustration)

That’s aiight.

We’re used to hanging with all kinds of folks. #nobodyweirdlikeus

 

 

Vote for Your Favorite Shinseki Capitol Quip | Capitol Quip

Vote for Your Favorite Shinseki Capitol Quip | 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. ET Thursday.

Here are this week’s finalists!

  • How many more can we add to the witness list before we see him?
  • I hope you don’t mind the wait.
  • General Shinseki, your walk-up song will be “Burred Lines.”
  • Well general, welcome to the one place where there is more red tape and process delays than the VA.
  • Have you had enough of a time-out to think about what you’ve not done?

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on June 1 and in the following 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 Rebecca Gale Posted at 4:31 p.m.
Capitol Quip

May 27, 2014

The Balls Are in Your Court, Testy Festers

All you Big Sky gourmands can once again feast on the unique flavors of home during the Montana State Society’s 10th annual Rocky Mountain Oyster-packed jamboree on Saturday.

The Balls Are in Your Court, Testy Festers

(Courtesy Montana State Society)

The “Nuttin’ Better” event is scheduled to fill expectant bellies with all the deep-fried bull balls, blended Canadian whiskey and cold domestic beer any red-blooded American could want Saturday from 6-10 p.m.

Tickets to the all-you-can-eat-and-drink shindig, which is returning to American Legion Post 139 (3445 N. Washington Blvd., Arlington, Va.), are available online for $25 (through Friday) or $30 at the door.

One event organizer assured HOH that everyone would be privy to as much liquid courage as they like/need, whether it be administered by the cup (Crown Royal will purportedly be served straight up or mixed with soda) or the gallon (featured suds include: Budweiser, Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Lite and Pabst Blue Ribbon). Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 4:54 p.m.
Booze, Food, Nationwide

Kelly Ayotte Thought Scott Brown Was Perfect for Massachusetts, Too

Ex-Sen. Scott P. Brown must be ecstatic about having his former colleague, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, stump for him Tuesday on her home turf of New Hampshire.

Unless, of course, she sticks with the script from the 2012 cycle.

“It’s my honor to introduce you to a fantastic senator who represents Massachusetts, who is your voice — not anyone else’s voice — and that is Sen. Scott Brown,” Ayotte assured a room of cheering Bay Staters in the run-up to the last election. (Democrat Elizabeth Warren defeated Brown in November 2012.)

The one-time Massachusetts Republican is expected to receive Ayotte’s blessing, along with nods from former New Hampshire governors Steve Merrill and Craig Benson, around 3 p.m. during a presser at the nostalgic Norton’s Classic Café in Nashua, N.H.

“I’m honored to have earned the support of these respected New Hampshire leaders,” Brown asserted in a release. “I’m looking forward to working with them toward a victory in the fall, and joining Senator Ayotte in the Senate to help her fight for more good-paying jobs, a repeal of ObamaCare and restoring Granite State principles to our congressional delegation.”

Bay State.

Granite State.

Our delegation.

Your delegation.

It’s all the same once you’ve got the seat, right?

By Warren Rojas Posted at 2:24 p.m.
Rewind, Please, Sens

House Panel Searches for Intelligent Life | Madisonville

House Panel Searches for Intelligent Life | Madisonville  Members of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee reached out to boldly cross a great divide last week. Not the one separating Republicans and Democrats. That would be asking too much. The divide between earthlings and aliens.

The committee initially stumbled over what to call its May 21 hearing. It started as Cosmology: The Search for Intelligent Life, possibly in expectation of a dire outcome in Tuesday’s primaries. But by Wednesday, the title — if not the ambition — was enlarged to Astrobiology and the Search for Life in the Universe.

Chairman Lamar Smith of Texas welcomed a group of high schoolers, saying the hearing was to inspire today’s students to become tomorrow’s scientists. (Just perhaps not the vast majority of climate scientists, about whom Smith is unenthusiastic.)

Dan Werthimer, director of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, and Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at SETI, came to talk about efforts to pick up communications signals emitted from distant planets. There are so many that have the conditions to support life that Shostak predicted results, funding permitting, within 20 years. “The kind of life that could uphold its end of the conversation,” he said. Full story

Selfie Opportunity: Celebrities in the House

Selfie Opportunity: Celebrities in the House

Reps. Tim Ryan and Grace Napolitano take pictures earlier this month of Keith Mitchell, former NFL player, and Metta World Peace, an NBA free agent, on the House steps after a group picture. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the Senate out of town and the House in a short session, it doesn’t look like Congress will accomplish much this week. But lawmakers could score a photo-op with a celebrity.

Reid Scott, who stars as Dan on HBO’s Emmy Award-winning show “VEEP,” will be on Capitol Hill Thursday. Scott will moderate a briefing in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by Oceana, an organization that works to preserve the ocean.

The briefing will address seismic airguns, which are used to find oil and gas beneath the ocean floor. Panelists include Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., and Oceana’s own “Veep” Jacqueline Savitz.

Another celebrity will be walking the halls of the Capitol Thursday. Cierra Ramirez, who stars in ABC Family’s “The Fosters,” will be on the Hill for the third annual Foster Youth Shadow Days.  As part of the event, 70 young people in foster care will shadow their members of Congress to raise awareness about the foster care system.

So mark your calendars: Thursday will be the day to break out the smartphone and take a celebrity selfie. (Here’s looking at you, Rep. Sean P. Duffy.)

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 1:35 p.m.
Celebs

May 26, 2014

Shinseki, Waiting His Turn in Line | Capitol Quip

Shinseki, Waiting His Turn in Line | Capitol Quip

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki has faced a number of tough situations in his military and public service career, and now he finds himself in hot water over wait times at VA clinics. That brings us to this week’s Capitol Quip.

Send us a caption for this week’s contest by leaving it in the comments section. Editors will pick five finalists on Wednesday, and everyone can vote for the winner through Thursday.

To see our previous winners, check us out on Pinterest.

By Jason Dick Posted at 7:05 p.m.
Capitol Quip

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