Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 5, 2015

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.



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

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

Irish step dancers from the Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance entertained guests at the Prevent Cancer Foundation Annual Spring Gala.

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

No Doc Fix for Barney Frank Fans

It appears self-styled equality champ Barney Frank can no longer catch a break in #ThisTown.

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Not only has the documentary team that followed the Massachusetts Democrat around during his final year in Congress struggled to make ends meet on Indiegogo, now the art house theater where the trio had originally planned to stage the D.C. premiere of “Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank” is staggering toward a fast-approaching final bow.

Filmmaker Sheila Canavan told HOH plans to share the up-close-and-personal look at the former lawmaker with District cinephiles have been shelved pending the conclusion of the ongoing fundraising push. Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 1:11 p.m.
Flicks, Reps

March 12, 2015

Ted Kennedy Inducted Into Labor Hall of Honor

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Family, friends and former staff came together Wednesday to honor the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy as he was inducted into the Labor Hall of Honor.

Former Labor Secretary Alexis Herman recalled the senator being late to an event and being reprimanded by his older sister, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. After the incident, one of his staff gave him a look which prompted the senator to say, “Oh, so you’ve got a big sister too?” Full story

By Megan Evans Posted at 6:04 p.m.

Playing Politics With Trending Themes

The kids, they’re trying to dispense/gather as much life affirming advice (#GoodAdvicein4Words) as possible over on the Twitter.

And, wouldn’t you know it, the fun police have to crowbar their hackneyed political views into the mix.

The No-More-44 Caucus

Full story

#tbt Trivia: Test Your Congressional Brain



The only thing better than celebrating a birthday is celebrating it all year long. Roll Call is turning 60, and we’re doing a whole bunch of stuff to mark six decades of covering Congress.

That’s why we’re doing congressional trivia for #ThrowbackThursday via the @rollcall Twitter feed. Follow along there!

Full story

March 11, 2015

Why Are Members of Congress Following a Salacious Twitter Feed?

Why would several members of Congress line up behind what looks to be a porn-intensive Twitter feed? It might have something to do with a concerned Scotsman, a former Cabinet secretary and a sick little girl from Pennsylvania.
Full story

Staffers Can Let It All Hang Out in Pseudonymous Cloakroom

Recovering Hill staffer Ted Henderson wants to liberate congressional aides from the specter of having their deepest, darkest work gripes traced back to them via pre-existing communication platforms.

His solution: the identity-eschewing Cloakroom.



Ex-Rep. Dale E. Kildee’s former aide, who mined his inside-baseball experience to create the online advocacy tool Capitol Bells, told HOH he carved out the haven for free expression to enable no-holds-barred dialogue among rank-and-file feds.

“The listservs are all based on your staffer email address, so everything you say is attributed to both you and your boss,” Henderson said of internal channels used for everything from talking up potential new hires to extorting favors. Full story

March 10, 2015

John Lewis Bends Jon Stewart’s Ears About the Bad Old Days

Fresh off a trip to Selma, Ala., on the 50th anniversary of the landmark protest that would come to define his career in civil disobedience, Rep. John Lewis described the merits of “necessary trouble” to “The Daily Show” Monday.

The Georgia Democrat and graphic novelist regaled host Jon Stewart with tales of what it was like making his way through an alarmingly intolerant world.

“It is a struggle of a lifetime, of many lifetimes. I feel more than lucky, but very blessed that I’m still here to tell the story and try to inspire another generation of young people to get out there and push,” Lewis said. Full story

Someone Is Very Lucky Chuck Grassley Keeps Busy

The public relations team over at the History Channel ought to thank Jebus that a certain social media-savvy Iowa Republican wasn’t Web surfing Monday night.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley has just about made it his personal mission to browbeat the cable network for deviating from its raison d’être by embracing ratings-baiting reality shows. Full story

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