Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
January 25, 2015

August 22, 2012

Jim Gerlach Makes a Seriously Awkward Comparison

On Tuesday, the presumptive GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan (Wis.) galloped into Pennsylvania waving the flag and stumping the good stump.

While Ryan labeled himself a good “Catholic deer hunter,” Pennsylvania Rep. Jim Gerlach (R) compared the House Budget Committee chairman with the decidedly liberal, anti-gun fictional President Andrew Shepherd from the 1995 film, “The American President.”

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Gamer Takes on Congress

Have you got what it takes to claw your way from freshman lawmaker to the Oval Office? The new Congressional simulator, “For the People,” allows political junkies to do just that — without having to smooch a single baby, beg for cash or clumsily defend any nonsensical views on rape.

Creator Shel Mann, who helped bring to market diversionary gems ranging from the bloody-as-hell shoot ‘em up Duke Nukem to popular hunting and fishing titles (Deer Hunter and The Strike, respectively), tells HOH the political sphere is the undiscovered country of fantasy gaming.

Gamer Takes on Congress

(Courtesy For the People Fantasy Politics)

“There’s always new drama,” he said of the topsy-turvy world where pols rise and fall by the latest sound bite. Full story

August 21, 2012

Todd Akin, Prominent With Fetus

Embattled Missouri Rep. Todd Akin is still standing, this time with a fetus.

Akin’s Senate campaign website asks that people sign a petition supporting him during this time when most establishment Republicans have turned against him. Also on the page is his opponent for the Missouri Senate seat — and probably his biggest supporter today — Sen. Claire McCaskill (D).

Todd Akin, Prominent With Fetus

In what is one of the more interesting pleas for support, the website begs: “Tell McCaskill That Your Standing With Todd Akin”

Quick edit: Team Akin, the word you mean to use isn’t “your,” which is a possessive pronoun. It is “you’re,” the contraction of “you are.”

“I made a mistake,” he continues. “I used the wrong words in the wrong way.”

Thankfully, this statement can apply both to his “legitimate rape” comments and now his grammar.

Todd Akin’s Legitimate Tumblr Page

The most surprising thing about the new Todd Akin Tumblr is that it has taken so long to get to us.

After his remarks about “legitimate rape” on Sunday, the Missouri Republican Representative is getting the full pariah treatment, not just from the Internet but from nearly every relevant member of his own party. Akin, of course, is facing Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) in what was a nail-biter race that had favored the Republican.

Akin faces a 5 p.m. deadline today to decide whether to continue his bid for the Senate. With that in mind, the Tumblr page has every imaginable pop culture icon offering historical guidance, including the Simpsons, Monty Python and Star Trek. And HOH has its own contribution to the mix as well:

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August 20, 2012

Fleshing Out Mitt and Rob

Move over,  Felix and Oscar. The oddest couple of the hour would have to be Mitt & Rob, a Twitter-fueled phenomenon wedding GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney with his text-happy tormenter, comedian Rob Delaney.

Fleshing Out Mitt and Rob

(Courtesy Mitt & Rob)

Mitt & Rob creator Josh Mecouch told HOH he’s long admired the rapid-fire quips and topical barbs Delaney rains down on the Romney camp, but he only recently decided to document the absurdity of it all in comic form.

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Move Over Hershey, Ron Paul’s Got His Own Bar

Gold standard, schmold standard. Some Ron Paul supporters believe the perennial presidential candidate and fiscal firebrand is worth his weight in Belgian chocolate.

Move Over Hershey, Ron Pauls Got His Own Bar

(Courtesy Ron Paul Bars)

Mike Vandenbos told HOH it was only natural to try encapsulating his love for the Texas Republican in an ounce-plus slab of gourmet candy. “We are big fans of the good doctor and believe he is the only candidate worthy of his own chocolate bar,” he said of the Ron Paul Bar he has designed and marketed with a friend.

The commemorative chocolates ($2+ a pop) are produced by a chocolatier in Washington state using Belgian milk and dark chocolate.

Vandenbos estimates he’s sold more than 10,000 bars, including bulk orders that garnered purchasers free admission to the unofficial People Awakening and Uniting for Liberty (P.A.U.L.) Festival descending on Tampa, Fla., this weekend.

A deep discount was also offered on the site to those willing to snatch up 500+ bars and use them as “a secret weapon to persuade the Romney delegates at the RNC.” Vandenbos declined to comment on how many, if any, folks had signed on to play candyman on the convention floor, but he did note that the company had received at least one order for 1,000 bars.

And what does Rep. Paul think of the confectionary tribute?

Move Over Hershey, Ron Pauls Got His Own Bar

(Courtesy Mike Vandenbos)

Vandenbos assured HOH he hand-delivered a few bars to Paul’s digs in the Cannon House Office Building.

A Paul aide confirmed the boss had nibbled a bit but stopped short of offering any kind of endorsement. “He never said what he thought but he never complained either,” the aide related of the candy sampling.

Unlike Paul himself, who is staging an official rally at University of South Florida’s Sun Dome arena Sunday afternoon, Ron Paul Bars will be present (and available for sale) at P.A.U.L. Fest.

Please drop us a line/zap over a pic (HOH@rollcall.com) if you spot folks chomping away on them at the GOP convention.

August 17, 2012

Dressing Up Tampa

Local businesses are rolling out the red-white-and-blue carpets for those traveling to Tampa to get their G-O-P-on at the Republican National Convention later this month.

State Vacuum — the self-proclaimed “World’s Largest Vacuum Store” — has even transformed its customary sports-jersey-clad gorilla greeter into a star-spangled, chapeau-wearing pachyderm.

Dressing Up Tampa

(Courtesy Jeff Houck)

We hear his counterpart on the opposite corner is currently decked out as Gorilla Uncle Sam.

So remember, conventioneers: State Vacuum is the place for all your away-from-home sucking needs.

Paul Ryan Was Kind of Asking for It

It’s hard to feel sorry for a person who should’ve known better.

Mitt Romney’s new super friend, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, was slammed in Rolling Stone by his “favorite band,” Rage Against the Machine.

Rage guitarist Tom Morello took pen to paper and accused Ryan of not understanding the band … just as “Charles Manson loved the Beatles but didn’t understand them.”

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Look Who’s Coming to Our Party

Like dogs and cats living together, the politically cynical among us arch our eyebrows when talk turns to bringing Republicans and Democrats together for a common cause. Musicians on Call, a nonprofit that brings live music to the sick and infirm across the country, could be the exception to the rule.

The MOC will reap the benefits of two — TWO! — convention parties, one for the Republicans and one for the Democrats. The parties are being thrown by Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Recording Industry Association of America … with an assist from little ol’ CQ Roll Call.

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Extreme Makeover, Congressional Edition

Former Rep. Mickey Edwards (R-Okla.) thinks America could still become the world’s next top democracy. But there’s work to be done, as he explained Thursday night at Politics and Prose while discussing his book “The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats Into Americans.”

“We can make the government work, but it’s going to take fundamental changes,” Edwards said. He went on to say that Americans are fleeing party lines and that change is imminent.

Edwards, who served in Congress from 1977 to 1993, does not fault any one party. He contends that both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of playing into hyper-partisanship and that both are trapped by a system that rewards inflammatory rhetoric over civil discourse.

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August 16, 2012

‘Arbitrage’ Flick Explores Win-All Mentality

“Will you give up the power you love to hang on to your last shred of humanity?” is one of the main themes of Nicholas Jarecki’s new film, “Arbitrage,” which screened Tuesday night at Landmark E Street Cinema.

HOH is not so sure that’s a good question to ask the career climbers crawling all over Washington, D.C. But what we are sure is that the film is an entertaining thriller:

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August 15, 2012

Canadians Consumed by Our Roiling Political Outrage

Dear Canuck HOH reader(s): The bad news is that thanks to the upcoming documentary “Anger in America,” you, our beloved neighbors in the Great White North, will not be spared the indignity of being exposed to our increasingly toxic political climate.

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August 14, 2012

WWE Wrestler Fired After Political Tweet

Abraham Obama Washington, or A.W. (also known as Brian Jossie), was fired this week from his gig at World Wrestling Entertainment. Some people might think his firing had something to do with a Kobe Bryant rape joke he tossed off during a live WWE broadcast. That might be only part of the story.

Jossie was fired after he tweeted his support for former WWE CEO Linda McMahon’s Senate candidacy, the Connecticut Post reports.

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August 13, 2012

Hey, GOP — Tampa’s Got Your Bad Decisions Covered

The commercialization of the 2012 Republican National Convention is in full swing, as evidenced by the over-the-top advertisements Tampa Tribune food scribe Jeff Houck encountered during the weekend.

Get a load of the not-so-subtle warning to those who, unlike presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, might knock back something stronger than caffeine-free Diet Coke during convention week:

Hey, GOP — Tampas Got Your Bad Decisions Covered

(Courtesy Jeff Houck)

Full story

Paul Ryan: Running Joke

Veepstakes prognosticators have been hyper-focused on Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan for quite some time now, even though he has remained hush-hush about the whole courting process.

But once presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney made it official over the weekend, EVERYONE began having fun with the No. 2 pick.

The One Million Strong for Barack Obama folks sure seemed to enjoy the news:

Paul Ryan: Running Joke

(Courtesy One Million Strong for Barack Obama)

The long-dormant Paul Ryan Tumblr roared back to life, boasting six entries already today:

Paul Ryan: Running Joke

(Courtesy Hey Girl, It's Paul Ryan)

Confidence is high that the make-your-own Paul Ryan Gosling meme site will see an enormous uptick in traffic from now until Nov. 6. We’re partial to this tax-related love note:

Paul Ryan: Running Joke

(Courtesy quickmeme)

And, of course, there are the parody Twitter accounts.

As opposed to the lighthearted Tumblr site, @PaulRyanGosling weaves swipes at conservative ideology into bawdy pickup lines:

• Hey girl, I know I’m only 42, but my ideas on women’s rights are over 500 years old.

• Hey girl, the only foreign policy experience I need is French kissing and Brazilian waxing.

The @PaulRyanVIP account is less romantic but even more ribald:

• It takes incredible boldness and bravery to f— the poor while blowing the rich. #RomneyRyan2012

Those interested in what the real Paul Ryan thinks about/is up to these days, should seek out his Romney campaign-controlled account, @PaulRyanVP. For more of a historical perspective, comb through his personal account, @RepPaulRyan.

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