Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 22, 2014

May 29, 2014

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

Willie Wonka’s Congressional Factory | Capitol Quip

Willie Wonkas Congressional Factory | 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.

May 23, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of May 19 (Video)

While Rep. Steve King is busy challenging members to duels, members tell reporters to grow out their hair, reflect on the glory days of dial-up Internet and cite Stephen Colbert on the floor.

Take a Hike, Ya Lazy Bums!

The Senate overlords would like for everyone to get out and about today.

Take a Hike, Ya Lazy Bums!

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Mother Nature certainly appears to be on board.

Take a Hike, Ya Lazy Bums!

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Enjoy the extra dose of vitamin D!

May 22, 2014

Picturing Life in Syria

Those curious to see how the other half lives — and by other half, we mean the innocents orphaned by ongoing insurrection — can get a sobering look into the struggle for survival in the Middle East Thursday night at the reception for “The Children of Syria” exhibition in the Russell Senate Office Building.

Picturing Life in Syria

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The reception, which is scheduled to take place in the Kennedy Caucus Room from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., caps a two-day run of the featured snapshots enjoyed in the Russell Rotunda.

Picturing Life in Syria

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The jarring images are the handiwork of a half-dozen international photojournalists working to chronicle the gravity of making one’s way through a war-torn existence. Full story

The Return of Roll Call Wedding Announcements

The Return of Roll Call Wedding Announcements

Remember that time Bradley Thompson proposed to Laura Bowman at the RNC in Tampa? We do! (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s that time of year. Wedding bells are ringing. Love is in the air.

Whatever your catchphrase, wedding season is here again (though some may argue it hardly hibernates in the winter) and Roll Call wants to hear from you. We’re bringing back staffer wedding announcements. Did you and your beloved meet on Capitol Hill? Was it love at first sight during congressional softball? Or canoodling over constituent mail? Perhaps it was an after-hours introduction at the Tune Inn, or a late night cutting turf on the campaign trail?

Whatever it is, Roll Call wants to know.

Submit wedding and engagement details to us, and you may see your story written up right here on Heard on the Hill. We’ll gladly take items directly from the couple, or from flacks, hacks, well-meaning friends and/or disgruntled uninvited wedding guests.

Let the festivities begin!

 

 

By Rebecca Gale Posted at 1:47 p.m.
Weddings

Weddings and Engagements

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