Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 2, 2015

January 19, 2015

HOH Words of the Week: ‘Let Me Be Clear’

“Let me be clear”: A frequent expression of exasperation from a politician who believes he or she isn’t making a fully understood argument. It’s the rhetorical heir to Richard Nixon’s famous “Let me make one thing perfectly clear.”

— From “Dog Whistles, Walk-Backs & Washington Handshakes: Decoding the Jargon, Slang, and Bluster of American Political Speech,” by Chuck McCutcheon and David Mark.

Related:

HOH Word of the Week: Satire

HOH Word of the Week: Obstructionism

HOH Word of the Week: Clinker

HOH Word of the Week: Vote

HOH Word of the Week: Congressionalist

HOH Word of the Week: Bold

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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January 17, 2015

Double Down on These SOTU Capitol Quips

Have you ever wanted to play speechwriter for the State of the Union?

Double Down on These SOTU Capitol Quips

Or have you ever wondered just what Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, is thinking as he sits through the speech?

Double Down on These SOTU Capitol Quips

Well, this week you can try your hand at both. Send us a caption for both of the cartoons this week by leaving it in the comments section, just make sure to mark it clearly with “Obama:” and alternatively, “Boehner:” before offering your quip. Editors will pick five finalists Wednesday, and everyone can vote for the winner through Thursday.

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

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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January 16, 2015

Marc Veasey Always Has His Game Face On

Rep. Marc Veasey isn’t just adept at moving Mary Kay cosmetics — he’s also a client.

The Texas Democrat recently brushed up on his one-on-one sales skills as part of his monthly “Marc Means Business Initiative,” a constituent outreach program predicated on him tackling different jobs across the Dallas-Fort Worth corridor. January’s task: brushing up on the beauty trade.

According to an aide, the two-term lawmaker nailed the makeup peddling assignment. “A client did purchase Mary Kay products after taking part of the ‘Love Your Skin’ party,” Team Veasey said of the marketing win.

He may have been so convincing because he’s able to talk from experience; staff told HOH the boss is a fan of the company’s signature shaving cream.

 

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Laser Cat May Just Take Your Breath Away

Follow Friday. Feline Friday. Whatever you want to call our weekly tumble down virtual rabbit holes, there’s no escaping the fact that you MUST pledge allegiance to Laser Cat.

An amalgamation of music, art and animatronics, Laser Cat is scheduled to shower Yards Park with all kinds of visual funkiness next month. The eye-catching experiment, which has so far been nurtured by the Barcelona-based visionaries known as Hungry Castle and the Art Directors Club, thrives on a steady diet of fan-submitted art, fun-loving DJs and global destinations.

⚡️ Laser Cat Brooklyn ⚡️ from Hungry Castle on Vimeo.

Full story

January 15, 2015

Commander-in-Chief Helps Raise Charmington’s Profile

A “surprise” visit Thursday from President Barack Obama has helped put an employee-owned, Charm City café on the political map.

Commander in Chief Helps Raise Charmington’s Profile

(Screenshot)

Per a White House pool report, the First Belly rolled into town with Maryland Democrat Barbara A. Mikulski in tow and took the opportunity to chat up three local women about the administration’s paid sick-leave trial balloon. The “unannounced stop” fits the president’s MO of huddling with potential beneficiaries of proposed policy changes. Full story

#tbt: Ted Kennedy Lets It All Hang Out

#tbt: Ted Kennedy Lets It All Hang Out

What a drag! (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

We suspect the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., would have been gratified to see the Golden Globes and the heap of awards given to “Transparent,” the groundbreaking television series about a man’s embracing his transgender self.

A pioneer for minority rights for decades, Kennedy did more than just pursue legislation. When given the opportunity, he even walked a mile in a woman’s heels, as we observed in our Jan. 17, 1988, edition in HOH: Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 5 a.m.
#tbt

January 14, 2015

‘Spare Parts’ Perfectly Sums Up DREAM Act, Durbin Says

‘Spare Parts’ Perfectly Sums Up DREAM Act, Durbin Says

Durbin watches “Spare Parts” at the E Street Cinema Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

An uplifting film about four scrappy, Mexican teens who turned the tables on fate by winning a prestigious robotics design competition underscores the exact opportunities Sen. Richard J. Durbin has fought to provide for undocumented immigrants over the past decade, according to the Illinois Democrat.

The movie, “Spare Parts,” chronicles the mind-blowing journey Oscar Vazquez and his high school pals — a rag-tag group of grossly underfunded, would-be engineers — experienced after taking it upon themselves to enter a NASA-sponsored contest to build an underwater rover. Full story

Dahntay Jones’ Proud Father-in-Law, G.K. Butterfield

Dahntay Jones Proud Father in Law, G.K. Butterfield

Butterfield, proud father-in-law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Those interested in keeping up with the latest pro-basketball deals could do worse than observe the House floor.

“My son-in-law just signed with the Clippers!” Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., said while exiting the chamber on Wednesday afternoon. Butterfield’s daughter Valeisha is married to Dahntay Jones, who signed a 10-day contract with the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.  Full story

By Emily Ethridge and Jason Dick Posted at 2:20 p.m.
Sports Desk

André Carson: House Intelligence News ‘Fired Up’ Tea Party

“It fired up the tea party, that’s for sure.”

— Rep. André Carson, D-Ind., who is the first Muslim lawmaker appointed to the House’s Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said Wednesday after being congratulated by a colleague on the House floor.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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HOH Name Game: The Tongue-Twister Caucus

HOH’s Name Game returns with an edition dedicated to helping you navigate the noms de Congress. Today’s subject is the Tongue-Twister Caucus, those members whose multi-syllabic names intimidate even the most erudite observer of the Legislative Branch.

And many thanks to our friends at the CQ Members desk, who supplied valuable intel on proper pronunciation.

HOH Name Game: The Tongue Twister Caucus

de-SAWN-yay (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Calif. — de-SAWN-yay. Not to be confused with the guy who comes next in the list.  Full story

January 13, 2015

Congress, at Its Most Animated, Is Always Fun to Watch

Turning a legendary chamber-clearing brawl between House Democrats and Republicans into a cartoon short not only displays “Bills and Brews” creator Matt Laslo’s brilliance in capitalizing on the gems he extracts from pols during his booze-fueled interviews, it makes him a bona fide member of some of the most colorful satirists around.

Congress, at Its Most Animated, Is Always Fun to Watch

(Screenshot)

Retired Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., last fall laid the foundation for this fisticuff-y trip down memory lane by sharing how a handful of lawmakers dealt with disagreements back in the day.

Reducing screwy pols to mere caricatures of themselves is a time-honored tradition among those grossly dissatisfied with what does (or does not) routinely take place in the halls of Congress.

Full story

Randy Weber ‘Now’ Realizes Hitler Comparison Wasn’t Cool

“I now realize that the use of Hitler invokes pain and emotional trauma for those affected by the atrocities of the Holocaust and victims of anti-Semitism and hate.”

— Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas, walking back from his Monday tweet: “Even Adolph [sic] Hitler thought it more important than Obama to get to Paris. (For all the wrong reasons.) Obama couldn’t do it for right reasons.”

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

By Jason Dick Posted at 3:41 p.m.
Overheards

Mark Takano Won’t Get Boxed Into Running for Senate

Try as they might, the starry-eyed optimists behind the “Ready for Takano” campaign are not going to goad California Democratic Rep. Mark Takano into hustling to replace his retiring Senate colleague, Barbara Boxer.

Mark Takano Won’t Get Boxed Into Running for Senate

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“We are a group of young progressives that aim to draft Congressman Mark Takano to run for US Senate in 2016 or 2018,” the would-be kingmakers stipulate on a homespun Facebook page launched on Jan. 8. Full story

Take Five: Rep. Mimi Walters

Take Five: Rep. Mimi Walters

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s time again for Take Five, when HOH talks with a member of Congress about topics relatively unrelated to legislative work.

This week Rep. Mimi Walters, R-Calif., talks about boogie boarding, heading to Mammoth and a few of her favorite things. Full story

January 12, 2015

Mark Pocan Practices Prestidigitation

Rep. Mark Pocan is dusting off his performer’s cap for a new weekly series dubbed, “Magic Mondays.”

The Wisconsin Democrat, who told Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert that he once earned a decent living by blowing people’s minds, is reconnecting with his showman side to help break down what’s actually going on in Washington, D.C.

The last time Pocan dared meddle with the natural order of things, boiling water became precipitation. Full story

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