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

February 3, 2013

Capitol Quip: And Now for Our Latest Winner:

Capitol Quip: And Now for Our Latest Winner:

Thanks to the many readers who contributed captions for last week’s Capitol Quip contest. The winning entry, as voted by readers of the Heard on the Hill blog, is “Amateurs.” The winner will receive a signed color print suitable for framing.

Revenue Hunt Takes Toll on Virginia GOP

Revenue Hunt Takes Toll on Virginia GOP

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Although HOH was bleary-eyed from an exhausting 15-hour, overnight odyssey from Florida back to the Old Dominion, it was impossible to miss the bright yellow 18-
wheelers blasting Gov. Bob McDonnell’s plans to transform a stretch of I-95 into a statewide piggy bank.

McDonnell’s sweeping transportation overhaul, which includes a proposal for new tolls on public roadways south of Richmond, has been resoundingly panned by everyone from members of the local community — Stony Creek Mayor Frank Jackson has crisscrossed the state in a “No Tolls” truck for months — to Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist.
Full story

February 1, 2013

Barney Bush, Loyal White House Scottie, Dies at Age 12.5

Barney Bush, the well-known — if sometimes controversial — Scottish terrier of former President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush, died Friday after losing a battle with lymphoma. He was 12.5 years old.

Barney Bush, Loyal White House Scottie, Dies at Age 12.5

Barney Bush is pictured on the South Lawn of the White House. (Courtesy Facebook.)

Often referred to as the “first dog,” Barney spent the entire eight years of Bush’s presidency at the White House, starring in videos via the “Barney Cam” and meeting the many famous faces to pass through the historic home.

Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 6:33 p.m.

Rating Congress’ Super Bowl Food and Booze Bets

Super Bowl XLVII is nigh, which explains why silly food bets have been flying around the Capitol all week.

SPOILER ALERT: Although we are still some 50-odd hours away from kickoff, late night host Jimmy Fallon’s prognosticating pooches have already awarded Sunday’s championship game to Charm City:

(Something tells us the NFL/sports-entertainment complex will go through with the contest anyway.)

The only constant in all the friendly wagers brokered by bicoastal lawmakers is Maryland crab cakes — a sublime bartering chip, as anyone who’s hoisted a forkful of delectable, pan-seared jumbo lump crustacean to their lips whilst hanging amid Baltimore’s charms can attest. Full story

January 31, 2013

Ford Revs Up Omnivorous Outreach

Michelin has gotten plenty of miles out of its make-or-break restaurant guides. Pirelli carved out a niche for itself with risqué pinup calendars.

Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday night raced to add sustainable dining to its portfolio by wooing the press with a “Fusion Meets Fusion” feast at The Source.

The auto giant, in town for the Washington Auto Show (Feb. 1-10), offered to take assorted scribes — the invite list ranged from the Detroit Free Press to local food bloggers Bitches Who Brunch — for a spin through the tastiest elements of its flagship hybrid vehicle.

While Ford’s marketing team dreamed up the unconventional exhibition, the task of actually translating the featured manufacturing materials — think: soybeans, wheat straw, coconuts and dandelions  — into edible talking points fell to award-winning toque Scott Drewno.

Ford Revs Up Omnivorous Outreach

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Full story

NBC Hearts Pols: Pelosi on ’30 Rock’ Finale

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will be on hand to wish Liz Lemon and friends a fond adieu on Thursday night’s series finale of “30 Rock.” Also wishing the Gang of Lemon good-day are guest stars Julianne Moore, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and, of course, Ice-T.

Pelosi joins the ranks of many other politicians during the past few years who have taken time to guest star on popular NBC shows such as “30 Rock,” “Parks and Recreation” and “Saturday Night Live.”

For all the DVR-ers out there, Jack Burditt, a writer for “30 Rock,” tweeted that viewers should “allow extra time at the end [of the show]. Stuff happens in the tag.”

What does that mean? Full story

Capitol Quip: What’s Hillary Thinking?

Capitol Quip: Whats Hillary Thinking?

You’ve got until 5 p.m. EDT to vote here for your preferred caption among the five finalists.

The winner will be announced Monday.

By Jason Dick Posted at 12:51 p.m.
Capitol Quip

January 30, 2013

Wizards, Rename Thyselves!

Two sports events have prompted HOH to launch a public service campaign: convincing Washington’s NBA franchise to ditch its woeful Wizards nickname.

First came the buzz about the Washington Nationals adding another racing president, William H. Taft, to the baseball club’s fourth-inning theatrics. HOH then absorbed the news that the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets were changing their name to the more geographic-appropriate Pelicans, the Louisiana state bird.
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Tim Ryan to Congress: Slow Down

Rep. Tim Ryan wants fellow lawmakers and congressional staff to stop and think about what they’re doing — even if only for a little while.

The Ohio Democrat, who says life on Capitol Hill has steadily devolved into a toxic mix of “more anxiety, more meetings, more fiscal cliff,” is hoping to speed the healing process by hosting weekly mindful meditation sessions on campus.
Full story

Quigley: Time to Make the Doughnuts

“I’m not easily impressed with politicians,” Norm Dinkel, owner of Chicago’s Dinkel’s Bakery, told HOH. But as for Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., who spent a day making doughnuts and decorating cakes for Dinkel, well, “He is a very nice man.”

“It was just a nice experience” to have Quigley work at the shop, the gruff baker said.

As part of his constituent outreach, Quigley goes into the district and works odd jobs for those businesses willing to put up with a congressman. This week, Dinkel’s Bakery, established in 1922 and run by Norm for 50 years, got the full Quigley service.
Full story

The Grijalva/Pastor Mock Turtleneck Mystery

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva was sitting comfortably in first class, heading to Arizona via Dallas/Fort Worth, when HOH spotted him.

He’s racked up enough frequent flier miles with American Airlines going back and forth from Washington, D.C., to his district that he’s made “platinum status” and is entitled to a free upgrade, space permitting.
Full story

Tom Coburn and His Giant Charts

Tom Coburn and His Giant Charts


Sen. Tom Coburn came to the Senate floor Wednesday to address a problem that he says is too big to be addressed within the confines of the Senate’s chart regulations.

The Oklahoma Republican brought a series of bright yellow charts to the floor with a series of tables outlining duplication and redundancy in federal government programs, based on reports from the Government Accountability Office.

“I ask permission for these oversized charts because the detail behind them cannot be seen unless you have it on a chart this size,” Coburn said. He later argued that “it’s absolutely asinine what we’re doing” in terms of wasting money.

Full story

Capitol Quip: Vote for Your Winner

Capitol Quip: Vote for Your Winner

CQ Roll Call continues its new weekly cartoon caption contest with a second round this week. CQ Roll Call editors have culled this week’s entries to move to the next stage: five finalists our readers will be able to vote for during the next day.

So, using the comments section, vote for your favorite caption until 5 p.m. Thursday. SPECIAL NOTE: If you submit your comment anonymously, we might have some difficulty getting you your signed print if you win. So before cloaking yourself, think about how we can contact you to get you your prize if you’re a winner. If you’re super shy, you can send us an anonymous line that only we will see at Thanks for playing!

Here are this week’s finalists:

• “You mothers wear combat boots”

• “Full Metal Jackass”

• “I’m ready for that 3:00 AM phone call …”

• “Amateurs …”

• “2016….2016……please let it be 2016!”

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog Monday and in the Monday print edition of Roll Call. The contest winner will receive a signed color print of their Capitol Quip cartoon from the cartoonist, R.J. Matson.

Ashley Judd and Dario Franchitti to Divorce

Actress, activist and potential Senate candidate Ashley Judd announced Tuesday that she and race-car driver husband Dario Franchitti will divorce. The two tweeted “family forever” to each other after the news of their split broke.

Judd is mulling a bid against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

When we spoke to Judd during the Emily’s List inauguration brunch, she told us just how difficult and serious the process of deciding to run for public office can be.

“When people are considering running, they hedge,” she said. “I get that now.”

Not even her family knows what she will do, but she did tell us how supportive her mother, country singer Naomi Judd, is.

“My husband said … well, I’ll let him speak for himself,” she said. Full story

Stars Walk Red Carpet at D.C. Premiere of ‘House of Cards’

Netflix’s new political drama “House of Cards” is set to premiere later this week, and the stars of the series were on hand at the Newseum on Tuesday night to premiere the show’s first episode.

The series stars Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, a House majority whip who embarks on a plot to bring down the president of the United States after he is passed over for the secretary of State role he covets.

And while many political dramas take liberties with how Washington actually works, Spacey told reporters gathered on the red carpet that he spent time with House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., before the show’s filming to get a feel for the challenges and duties a whip possesses.

“[McCarthy] was generous with his time,” Spacey said, adding that he also tagged along with Hoyer, who was equally giving. “He told me what it’s like to corral 218 individuals.”

In addition to Spacey’s homework,  the show’s creator, Beau Willimon – who also wrote the screenplay of the political thriller movie “Ides of March” based on his own play, “Farragut North” – has worked on a number of political campaigns, including the campaign of Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential run.

The stars of the show – including Kate Mara (“American Horror Story”) and Constance Zimmer (“Entourage”) – said Willimon’s wealth of knowledge for how Washington works was essential to their understanding of their characters’ roles.

All 13 episodes of the first season of the show will be posted at once on Netflix on Friday.

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