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

April 16, 2012

Tavis Smiley and Cornel West Head to Union Station

Radio hosts and activists Tavis Smiley and Cornel West will be at the Barnes & Noble in Union Station on Tuesday afternoon.

The duo will be at the bookstore from noon to 2 p.m. as part of their Poverty Manifesto Tour to promote their latest book, “The Rich and the Rest of Us.”

West and Smiley host the hourlong radio show “Smiley & West,” produced by Public Radio International.

April 15, 2012

Wu, Here He Is

Wu, Here He Is

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

HOH’s favorite tiger-suit-wearing ex-Congressman is back!

Last week, former Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) sent out his annual Chinese New Year’s card and our loyal tipsters forwarded it along.

“From the Wu family to your family, Happy New Year! 4789, The Year of the Dragon,” the card proclaims. Full story

Questioning Authority From the Backroom

Sometimes it’s not enough to just commentate on the myriad problems plaguing our current political system. You have to drink and smoke, too.

At least, that’s how the gents behind “Backroom Politics,” a weekly Internet radio show broadcast from Shelly’s Backroom (1331 F St. NW), play it. Full story

Aide Loves Pulling Strings

Helping shape public policy in the most powerful city in the world might be fulfilling enough for some Congressional aides. But amateur puppeteer Louis Agnello is truly happiest when he’s elbow-deep in felt and fully immersed in childhood fantasies.

A tipster outed the closeted showman — Agnello earns his actual living pondering health issues for Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) — by directing our attention to the December 2011 debut of “Clarence and the What Nows” on YouTube:

Full story

April 13, 2012

Sam Graves Getting Divorced

Rep. Sam Graves, a Missouri Republican serving his sixth term, today announced he and his wife Lesley are getting divorced.

In 2010, the Congressman got into hot water when a Kansas City blog, Tony’s Kansas City, posted photos of Graves having dinner with a woman who was not his wife at the Brickskeller in Washington, D.C.

In a joint statement, the couple said:

“Over the past 24 years, we have been blessed with many great times and three wonderful children. Unfortunately, we have grown apart and today we are announcing that we have filed to dissolve our marriage, but will continue to love and support our children. We ask for respect for our privacy and that of our family, and we do not intend to comment further.”


‘We Are Golf’ Swings Into Action

We Are Golf is bringing a group of storytellers and other fun things to Capitol Hill on National Golf Day on Wednesday to tell the tale of how golf changes lives.

“WE ARE GOLF will again bring a cast of story-tellers to Capitol Hill to discuss what golf has meant to them,” the group says in a statement. “And will continue sharing data about golf’s economic contributions to cash-strapped states around the nation.”

Aside from the merry band of storytellers, there will be an golf exhibit up in the Rayburn House Office Building. From 9:30 to 10 a.m. Members can participate in lessons from the Golf Channel’s Michael Breed. A golf simulator will be provided for the amusement of all. A Republican-vs.-Democrat putting challenge will be held, and there will be photo opportunities with the Wanamaker Trophy. Finally, there will also be “an educational display illustrating golf’s cutting-edge environmental stewardship.” Full story

April 12, 2012

Indian Pols Will Not Stand for Vampires

Indian politicians, like their American brethren, are susceptible to political hyperbole it seems.

The blog reports that villages around Dharmapuri seem to have a problem with dead cattle that have been drained of blood. Apparently, people have their knickers in a twist because obviously this can only be the work of vampires. Villagers are staying off the streets after the sun sets.

Bwa … bwah … bwahahahahaha. Ahem.  Full story

Herman Cain Scores Creepiest Political Ad of This Day

The government is a group of chickens. Taxpayers are a weird-looking farmer. The government chickens will attack the taxpayer farmer and eat him. This is all according to Cain Solutions, the group founded by former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain.

Oh, and amid the scary chickens and the screaming farmer, the video features a creepy, terrifying blond child who explains the whole thing to you. Obviously.

In case this might seem a bit over the top, watching the chickens pick over a human-looking bone, the child stares into the camera with a look that says the viewer is the crazy one. It’s a “Children of the Corn” meets “The Birds” kind of moment.  Full story

When Etch A Sketch Doesn’t Work …

The folks at the liberal American Bridge 21st Century political action committee are at it again: making videos and annoying Republicans.

Their latest video greeting card takes aim at the presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in honor of the sixth anniversary of the enactment of Massachusetts’ health care overhaul, which Romney proudly signed as governor. American Bridge shouts that the law is known as “Romneycare.”

The video cheekily says that today is Romney’s big day!

For those wondering what to get him, the sixth anniversary is iron, sugar or wood. The Flintstones help with the musical accompaniment. Full story

Playing Ruff With Mitt Romney Fundraiser

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has again raised the hackles of anti-animal cruelty activists, this time by partying down with a Republican fundraiser who was embroiled in a dog barbecuing scandal during his rambunctious college days. Full story

April 11, 2012

Charles Schumer’s Defense of Dyngus Day

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has thrown cold water on CNN’s Anderson Cooper for mocking the absurdity of Dyngus Day on national television.

Schumer Twitter-bashed Cooper for skewering the niche holiday and hailed Buffalo, N.Y., for hosting the annual post-Lenten blowout. Cooper has since issued a succession of apologetic tweets begging for forgiveness from anyone offended by his on-camera giggling:

Full story

Titanic Drowns in Paperwork

Sorry, James Cameron.

But why should we shell out big bucks to experience the 3D-fied version of your Romeo-and-Juliet-on-the-water opus (SPOILER: Boat sinks. Every. Freaking. Time.) when we can pore over the two-dimensional account of Congressional hearings into the epic tragedy for nada? Full story

April 10, 2012

Denny Rehberg’s Belt Buckle Screams ‘Jobs’

Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) is all about the subtle campaign message.

Denny Rehbergs Belt Buckle Screams Jobs

Courtesy Rep. Denny Rehberg's latest campaign mailing

Full story

Barney Frank, Frankly

Barney Frank, Frankly

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

May magazines are bursting with larger-than-life political personalities. Elle magazine has Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, while the hard bodies of Men’s Journal have been pushed aside to make way for a profile of retiring Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank.

The Democrat is best known for his acerbic wit. He is widely considered the smartest Member of Congress. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly. He doesn’t suffer fools at all.

Here are some fun Frank facts to pull out at dinner parties: Full story

Hillary Rodham Clinton Is Less Giggly Than Her Senate Bros

Hillary Rodham Clinton Is Less Giggly Than Her Senate Bros

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The May issue of Elle magazine settles it once and for all. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is smarter than you, probably more fun than you and better liked than you are. Sorry.

One thing’s for sure, the magazine presents a glowing side of HRC in its profile.

Things we knew: Clinton has had failures! She is in a strong marriage! She cares about women! She cares about children! She wears pant suits!

Things we didn’t know: She’s an introvert! She’s more popular then Oprah! She “really kicks back!” It could take up to 500 years for women to reach parity in Congress!

Also, the profile confirms what we always suspected: HRC is way more serious than her Senate bros. Full story

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