Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 29, 2015

March 18, 2015

Girl Scouts Throw Members a Cookie Party

The Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital has whipped up the ultimate can’t-say-no event of the century: a fundraiser (duh) honoring lady lawmakers with ties to the civic-minded organization (grrl power!) by plying attendees with custom treats forged from the group’s signature baked goods (synergy, FTW).

Girl Scouts Throw Members a Cookie Party

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The inaugural shindig — dubbed “2015 Sweet Success: Celebrating 104 in the 114th” — is expected to lure confection lovers to the UPS Townhouse on Capitol Hill from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

In addition to commemorating sash-wearing wonders past and present, organizers have arranged for a dessert cook-off featuring local toques. Full story

Meal Ticket: Approaching 50, Mr. Henry’s Tries a Place Lift

Back when Mr. Henry’s put down roots on Capitol Hill, congressman turned commander in chief Lyndon B. Johnson was still calling the shots in the Oval Office, the only Washington Senators anyone cared about were the ballplayers who took the field at RFK Stadium and relations with Cuba were far less relaxed than they appear to be today.

Eight presidential administrations later, the family-run establishment (601 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) endures — providing safe harbor to locals against changing tides that continue to wash away neighboring dive bars.

Meal Ticket: Approaching 50, Mr. Henry’s Tries a Place Lift

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Not that that kind of staying power comes easy. Mr. Henry’s, which once upon a time showcased the talents of soul singer Roberta Flack and attracted its share of gay and lesbian fans, has since seemingly faded into obscurity.
Full story

March 17, 2015

Politically Savvy Student Owns Being a Congressional Albatross

Lauren Dickinson isn’t worried, per se, that she may be a harbinger of death (career-wise anyway) for self-styled, rockstar politicos.

If anything, she’s fascinated by the power she seems to exert over self-destructive Republicans.

“Just call me the kiss of death. I’m 2 for 2 with Schock & Radel,” the George Washington University student mused online while showcasing a composite shot of her posing alongside the scandal-plagued pretty boys.

It’s unclear, however, just how potent Dickinson’s grasp may be. Full story

Aaron Schock: Look at Me! (But Not Too Closely)

Rep. Aaron Schock’s penchant for seeking out the spotlight appears to finally have burned him.

The embattled four-term lawmaker Tuesday tendered his resignation after a stream of embarrassing coverage threatened to propel him from mere media fascination to potential object of investigation.

The Illinois Republican first showed his smiling mug around Capitol Hill in 2008. He officially made a splash a few years later when Men’s Health dubbed him “America’s Fittest Congressman.”

Aaron Schock: Look at Me! (But Not Too Closely)

(Screenshot)

Once the shirt came off for that profile, it seemed Schock would always find an excuse to shed a few extra layers, whether it be:

Playing soldier with up-and-coming armed forces personnel.

Full story

Illinois Republicans Bust Their Humps to Navigate Unfriendly Skies

“Being a member of Congress does not exonerate you from having to endure the same headaches the rest of us airplane travelers have to deal with,” an HOH tipster said Monday after witnessing a pair of time-crunched lawmakers hustle to make it back to D.C. in a somewhat orderly fashion.

Illinois Republicans Bust Their Humps to Navigate Unfriendly Skies

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Per our spy, the trouble all started when United Airlines declared that the plane intended to whisk Illinois Republicans Rodney Davis, Robert Dold, Randy Hultgren and Mark S. Kirk back to work was experiencing mechanical difficulties and would not be taking its leave of Chicago O’Hare International Airport at the regularly scheduled time. Full story

Alaska, Hawaii Delegations Get Piggy With It (Updated)

Updated 2:05 p.m. | Lawmakers from the two last-to-the-party states share not only unique geographic ties (neither is directly connected to the Lower 48; both boast treacherous terrain), sometimes they also break bread together.

They did so Monday night, during a collegial get-together hosted by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

Alaska, Hawaii Delegations Get Piggy With It (Updated)

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

Full story

Members Shoot Hoops for a Cause

Members Shoot Hoops for a Cause

Reps. André Carson, D-Ind., and Jeff Denham, R-Calif., before the 26th annual charity basketball game in 2013. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mark your calendars for the 28th annual Home Court Charity Basketball Game, scheduled for next week.

Gonzaga College High School will host the Georgetown Law faculty and staff on March 25 as they take on members of Congress. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. Full story

By Megan Evans Posted at 11:30 a.m.
Baller

Late Night With … Ted Cruz!

Late Night With ... Ted Cruz!

Cruz takes his humor to late night TV (CQ Roll Call File Photo).

After a weekend in South Carolina and New Hampshire, Sen. Ted Cruz took his act to 30 Rock Monday.

The Texas Republican, who is contemplating a bid for the White House, appeared as a guest on NBC’s “Late Night With Seth Meyers.” The host happens to be from the first-in-the-nation primary state. Cruz was back in the building Tuesday morning for more serious programming.

“Historically, we have found when senators from Texas come to New Hampshire, it’s because they want to run for president,” Meyers said. “It’s that or you want to buy like cheap liquor at our liquor stores.”

“Well, you know tomorrow is Saint Patrick’s Day,” Cruz quipped in response.

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 9:09 a.m.
TV Land

March 16, 2015

Maine Pols Think Tom Moser Might Just Make It in D.C.

Maine Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins are slated to help christen Thursday the latest showplace carved out by artisan furniture maker Tom Moser.

A one-time college professor turned full-time craftsman — “He was a professor of rhetoric, of all things, at Bates [College],” King told HOH — Moser has built a second career for himself by creating highly coveted conversation pieces for the home and office.

Collins and King are tentatively scheduled to attend the ribbon cutting at his new shop (1028 33rd St. NW) Thursday from 6:30-9 p.m. The invitation-only affair is expected to feature  “Made in America” tasting stations, specialty drinks and the opportunity to win a limited edition, hand-signed American flag cobbled together from different woods (Maine maple for the white stripes, Pennsylvania cherry for the red stripes and Missouri black walnut for the background to the stars). Full story

Members Succumb to March Madness

Ahhh, the middle of March. That time of year when the eyes of the nation turn away from anything and everything business-related and become locked on whatever electronic device is handy — TV, computer, smartphone — in order to keep track of that all-important commodity: one’s meticulously crafted NCAA bracket.

Members Succumb to March Madness

(Screenshot)

Politicos are not exempt from the collective obsession with the men’s basketball championship tournament. President Barack Obama has, for several years now, gone on record with his prognostications.

And plenty of sports fans on Capitol Hill — be they alumni of those on the hunt for a national title or proud supporters of the athletes they represent — love to trade barbs (and bet regional delicacies) in pursuit of ultimate bragging rights. Full story

Take Five: Rep. Ed Perlmutter

Take Five: Rep. Ed Perlmutter

Perlmutter coaches congresswomen in the annual Congressional Women’s Softball game. (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. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo., boasts about the weather in his home state, talks about working out to country rock and the upcoming Congressional Women’s Softball Game. Full story

HOH Word of the Week: Crisis Management

Crisis management. Like PR fixers for the stars in New York and Hollywood, Washington, D.C. hosts a bunch of crisis-management firms whose client lists are often secret, and their tactics not exactly what we read about in civics textbooks.”

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

Full story

March 13, 2015

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of March 9, 2015 (Video)

Sen. David Vitter quotes his “stupid amendment,” Sen. John Cornyn tells his colleagues to “imagine his surprise” and Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s staffer cannot stop nodding. Full story

Step-Dancing the Night Away to Fight Cancer

Step Dancing the Night Away to Fight Cancer

Irish step dancers entertained guests. (Courtesy Jack Hartzman Photography)

The hot ticket this past weekend? The Prevent Cancer Foundation’s 21st Annual Spring Gala, which on March 6 hosted about 900 guests who donned tuxedos and ball gowns to raise more than $1.6 million for cancer prevention and early detection.

Several guests donned green in support of this year’s Irish theme, “Ireland: Legendary and Contemporary.” Irish step dancers from the Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance were the featured entertainment, and Irish Ambassador Anne Anderson gave the keynote address, pledging Ireland would become smoke-free by 2025.

Full story

Patrick Leahy Focuses on Instagram

The Senate’s pre-eminent photography enthusiast, Patrick J. Leahy, has dipped his toe into the well of frozen moments splayed across Instagram, sharing snippets of what it’s like to do the people’s business for a living.

A taxi row of cars in Havana — the colorful antiques that have become an iconic image of Cuba. Photo by Sen. Patrick Leahy.

A photo posted by Senator Patrick Leahy (@senatorleahy) on

A lifelong shutterbug, the Vermont Democrat officially joined the picture-sharing service a few weeks back. According to staff, the prolific photographer — a collection of his work just completed a three-month run at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center in Vermont; other historic shots were featured last fall at Georgetown Law Center (he’s an alumnus) here in D.C. — is always at the ready to frame the perfect keepsake.

“He’s never without his Nikon digital,” Team Leahy said of the lawmaker’s constant state of alertness. Full story

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