Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 2, 2014

October 2, 2013

Miami University Gets Exclusive Tour of Shutdown Capitol

Shutdown rules have Capitol tour groups on a short leash — tour guides are furloughed, staff-led tours are forbidden, member-led tours are capped at 10 per group, and members must personally accompany the tour at all times.

That’s why a group of 25 Miami University students touring the rotunda raised HOH’s eyebrows. The Oxford, Ohio, university is located in Speaker John A. Boehner’s district, but he was nowhere in sight.

HOH was puzzled as to how the students, easily identified by their red “M” lapel pins and a few flashy Miami University folders, gained access to the Capitol. The leader of the group herded them through the Rotunda around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, then into the Old Senate Chamber, with a Capitol Police officer on hand to unlock the door. Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 6:58 p.m.
DC, HillSide

Five Lines to Sing | Capitol Quip

Five Lines to Sing | 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. EDT Thursday.

Here are this week’s finalists:

  • He’s been singing the same tune for so long, it’s a wonder that he still needs to look at the words.
  • I vote to defund my senses.
  • What can I say? It’s better than the Kabuki-style theater we’ve had in Congress here lately.
  • Our polls tell us this one’s easy: the one-note samba!
  • At least it isn’t a Dr. Seuss book this time.

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on Oct. 6 and in the following day’s 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 Jason Dick Posted at 5:02 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Capitol Hill Businesses Confounded by Shutdown

Local bars and restaurants have made it their business to comfort congressional staffers who’ve been temporarily laid off while lawmakers continue haggling over a solution to the budgetary standoff.

Capitol Hill Businesses Confounded by Shutdown

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Meanwhile, shopkeepers all around Capitol Hill are struggling to understand why elected officials would deliberately undermine their efforts to earn a decent living.

Savita Malhotra, owner of Capital Hill Liquors & Deli (323 Pennsylvania Ave. SE), is simply stunned by the ongoing ideological scuffle.

“This should never have happened. This bickering does not help our country at all,” she said of the political theater playing out on cable news shows.

Capitol Hill Businesses Confounded by Shutdown

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“We’re trying to create jobs and they’re hurting us by sending people home,” she said of the economic uncertainty looming over her head, adding that the legislative logjam has turned the entire neighborhood “into a ghost town.”

Thomas Calomiris, owner of an eponymous, family-owned fruit stand in Eastern Market (225 Seventh St. SE), said, at least so far, business has been about the same.

But he suggested that some patrons seem to have a tinge of worry in their voices.

“I’ve seen a few people who told me they suddenly have more free time,” he shared. Some shoppers have tried to put a happy face on the whole situation, while others just seem like they are trying to keep busy.

Capitol Hill Businesses Confounded by Shutdown

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

So far, no one has come in all panicked. (We didn’t see many people at all during our midday visit.) But Calomiris said everyone would likely begin cutting back if the shutdown stretches into a protracted showdown like the one that gripped the city nearly two decades ago.

“I remember that … business didn’t pick up immediately after,” he said of the sluggish sales he experienced in the wake of the GOP rebellion against President Bill Clinton.

Meanwhile, Calomiris marveled at the fact that when mom-and-pops like his default on bills, things get real ugly, real fast.

“I know the government has a hard time resolving things. [But] if it was run like a business, things would be different,” he opined.

Given that Capitol Hill Fitness (725 Eighth St. SE), a free-form workout den, has only been open for a couple of months, fitness consultant Breelaun Marchai said it’s tough to gauge how his business will be affected long-term.

“No crazy changes yet,” he said.

Just to be safe, the shop has carved out a furlough special — half-off admission (that’s $5 for a 30-minute circuit, which includes 8-16 stations of full-body, low-impact challenges) for the duration of the shutdown.

Marchai hinted that their open-door policy — no membership required and no appointments necessary — should make it easy for anyone to fit a workout into their suddenly wide-open schedule.

Over at Capitol Hill Books (657 C St. SE), employee Jennifer Ellingston said she’s noticed a slight uptick in foot traffic.

“Well, of course people are coming in, because they’re not going to work,” she said.

Ellingston estimated that around a half-dozen furloughees popped in Tuesday in search of page-turners to occupy their time.

“There was a lot of, ‘Oh, you all are here because’ … [Them:] ‘Yes’ …, ” she said of the friendly patter that immediately ensued when the non-retirees (the store’s core daytime constituency) trickled in to wander the overcrowded stacks.

Even better: Each one of the surprise shoppers walked out of the store with a just-purchased title in hand.

Of course, infinite downtime isn’t panning out for everyone.

Capitol Hill Businesses Confounded by Shutdown

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Just ask the confused little girl we spotted fumbling with the locks barring her from frolicking in the Stanton Park playground.

Rand Paul Just Wants Bipartisan Coffee … and Maybe Some Photos of It

In these difficult times, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has asked his colleagues to join him Thursday for a nice, leisurely, comity-building bipartisan coffee … on the Capitol steps. Where anyone can take photographs.

Two Democratic sources passed along Paul’s “Dear Colleague” invitation, which was distributed over the Democratic Senate schedulers Listserv. Hopefully those schedulers are essential and still checking email!

The letter:

Rand Paul Just Wants Bipartisan Coffee ... and Maybe Some Photos of It

“Rand Paul appointing himself the arbiter of bipartisanship is like Miley Cyrus appointing herself the arbiter of modesty,” says one of our snarky sources.

Overheard: Homeless Not Exempt From Shutdown

“I know it’s a shutdown, sir. But you can’t be laying back down.”

— A street vendor trying to rouse a homeless gent dozing on a Capitol Hill sidewalk

Furlough Stimulus Plans: The Master List of Comfort for Nonessentials

That government ID card might be useless around the Capitol during the shutdown, but plenty of local businesses are rolling out the red carpet to furloughees in need of gastrotherapy. We’re adding to this list all the time, so please keep coming back, and don’t forget to check in with Roll Call After Dark for some of the other specials around town revolving around the arts and sights.

Good This Week

Granville Moore’s/1238 H St. NE

$3 “under pressure” barbecue pork belly bites on special Tuesday. $1 Stella Artois for as long as owner Teddy Folkman can swing them.

“We have 10 cases of Stella coming in today. So ’till we run out’ … kinda like the budget,” Folkman told HOH.

Mockingbird Hill/1843 Seventh St. NW

One free glass of sherry poured for badge-flashers from now until Thursday.

Tortilla Coast/400 First St. SE

Wednesday and Thursday, happy hour drinks in the bar.

And while it’s not actually contingent on the government implosion, the flagship Tortilla Coast couldn’t have picked a better time to resurrect its month-long “Texas State Fair” promotion.

The Capitol Hill mainstay is celebrating all things Lone Star State from now until Oct. 20, serving up a number of dishes of downhome-style nosh that should help dull the pain of being relegated to the political sidelines for a while.

A frosty Shiner Bock Black always takes the edge off. Mini corn dogs allow you to eat your feelings, one sweet cornmeal-wrapped nibble at a time. Traditional Fritos pie makes it easy to knock off essential Tex-Mex food groups — chili, queso and corn chips (like tortillas, ‘cept different) — all in one sitting.

And what pity party is complete without a deep-fried, honey drizzled snack cake?

No ID needed to partake in Tortilla Coast’s specialty fare. And $1 of every specialty entree gets donated to the Capital Area Food Bank — because charities often have to pick up where the government leaves off.

Until It’s All Over

Art and Soul/415 New Jersey Ave. NW

Happy hour pricing — $4 regional draft beers, $5 appetizers, $7 cocktails and house wines — extended 4-8 p.m. until the shutdown ends. “Show us your government ID this week, and your second HH drink is on us,” a restaurant aide said.

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken/1308 G St. NW

One free doughnut with purchase of any doughnut or chicken order for any federal or D.C. government employee with ID.

Bayou Bakery/1515 N. Courthouse Road, Arlington, Va.

Free beignets with any coffee purchase to badge-flashing patrons. Owner David Guas is mulling additional deals and plans to offer something special each day until the shutdown ends.

Boundary Road/414 H St. NE

All-day furlough happy hour deals include $5 local beers, $5 Green Hat gin and tonics and the $7 “Nonessential Combo,” partnering a Narragansett Brewing Co. tall-boy with a shot of Old Overholt rye; no (federal) ID required.

Capitol Lounge/229 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

Offering one free draft beer to badge-flashing feds, Tuesday only.

Custom Fuel/1747 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Show a government ID, and, as part of Custom Fuel’s “Pizza for the People” deal, get any one of their 13 Vintage pizza varieties and a Bud or Bud Lite for $10.

Hill Country Barbecue/410 Seventh St. NW

Happy hour drink prices — $3 Pabst Blue Ribbon, $5 well shots and cocktails, $5 margaritas and $20 pitchers of margaritas — in effect for anyone with a government ID until the shutdown ends.

Johnny’s Half Shell/400 North Capitol St. NW

Newly minted cocktail “The Furloughed Fortune” — a red, white and blue cooler forged from dry gin, blue curacao, cranberry juice, lemon juice and simple syrup — available for $5 from 11:30 a.m. till closing, until the shutdown ends.

Marvin/2007 14th St. NW

All-day progressive happy hour featuring discounted Stella Artois (start at $1, climbing each hour till 4 p.m., when they level out at $4 all night), $5 rail drinks, $6 house wines and Absolut cocktails, and rolling food specials ($4 frites, $6 chicken fried oysters, $6 cheese croquettes and $9 house-smoked baby back ribs). ID required.

Molly Malone’s/713 Eighth St. SE

 

Furlough Stimulus Plans: The Master List of Comfort for Nonessentials

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Rotating food and drink (think: Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, vodka cocktails) deals are available to badge-flashers from open to close.

Passion Food Hospitality

All the Passion Food properties (DC Coast, Ceiba, Acadiana, District Commons, Burger Tap and Shake, Fuego, PassionFish) are in full-time happy hour mode — half-price appetizers, $5 margaritas — until the shutdown ends.

Piola/2208 14th St. NW and 1550 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va.

Flash your government ID and get 40 percent off all menu items, except alcohol. Beers are $2.95, and the offer is valid as long as the government is shut down. Not valid with other promos.

Pork Barrel BBQ/2132 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Va.

Furlough Stimulus Plans: The Master List of Comfort for Nonessentials

(Courtesy Jessica Estepa)

The former Hill staffers behind this smokehouse are looking out for their own by serving up one pulled-pork sandwich, per day, to furloughed employees until the shutdown ends. ”Must have gov ID & EXCLUDES CONGRESSMEN,” the former congressional aides warned the Twittersphere.

Port City Brewing Co./3950 Wheeler Ave., Alexandria, Va.

Port City is shaving 20 percent off draft pints and growler fills of the Essential Pale Ale for those who trek out to the Alexandria tasting room; no staff ID required.

Quill Bar and Lounge/1200 16th St. NW

$2 “furlough fries” available at the bar all day; no ID required.

Righteous Cheese/1309 Fifth St. NE

Those who avail themselves of the “Government Cheesedown” promotion can enjoy, with any purchase, a free sampling of Thornbridge Halcyon IPA and Montgomery’s Cheddar — “a stellar British pairing to inspire nostalgia for the good old days of King George III’s rule,” according to owner Carolyn Stromberg — from 4-8 p.m., Wednesday through Friday. ID required.

Taqueria Nacional/1409 T St. NW

Daily happy hour deals — $2 margarita or draft beer with the purchase of any two tacos on Mondays, $1 taco with purchase of any margarita or beer on Tuesdays, $9 trio (chips and salsa, one taco, one margarita) are good anytime — extended from 11 a.m. to close, until the shutdown ends.

ThinkFoodGroup

Cheflebrity José Andrés is treating all furloughees to a free sandwich, available 3-5 p.m. daily at any TFG property (Jaleo, Oyamel, Zaytinya) until the shutdown ends. ID required.

Gratis foodstuffs, available for dine in or carryout, include:

Jaleo — Flauta de Jamon Serrano (Barcelona’s bread brushed with tomato and extra virgin olive oil, jamón Serrano, manchego cheese)

Oyamel — Torta Pancita (Spiced “36 hour” Shenandoah pork belly, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, Dijon mayonnaise)

Zaytinya — Chicken Schwarma (garlic-lemon marinated chicken, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, lavash bread with garlic sauce)

Union Pub/201 Massachusetts Ave. NE

 

Furlough Stimulus Plans: The Master List of Comfort for Nonessentials

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Light a fire in your belly with $3 shots of unchilled Bowman’s whiskey. Then feed your hate with $6 pizzas (your choice).

Urbana/2121 P St. NW

Progressive happy hour — usually in effect 4-7 p.m.; one extra hour will be tacked onto the tail end each night (so, 4-8 p.m. tonight, 4-9 p.m. Wednesday) — resetting every Monday, until the shutdown ends. Expect $1 oysters (served by the half- and full dozen), $5 bar snacks, $6 Absolut mixed drinks, $6 house wines and $7 specialty cocktails.

Vendetta/1212 H St. NE

One free glass of prosecco with valid government ID.

Z-Burger/Multiple area locations

Providing one free burger (plain, cheese or bacon-topped) to any badge-flashing feds — and D.C. government aides — at lunch (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) and dinner (5-7 p.m.) at any of its four locations for the duration of any shutdown.

Gone, but Not Forgotten (Tuesday Deals)

Brasserie Beck/1101 K St. NW

Special two-course meal deal ($20) for all federal and military employees from open to close Tuesday, plus a $2 “Holy Acromonie Punt-e-mes,” featuring Jack Daniels cut with ginger beer and a cherry garnish.

Carmine’s/425 Seventh St. NW

Shutdown-inspired “Olive Branch” cocktail — fashioned from Plymouth gin, olives, pickled onions and rosemary — available for $12 a pop.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman suggested that CEO Jeff Bank would happily reserve one of the backrooms for a legislative huddle. “Bank says that deals are made over pasta, so he’s offering any of Carmine’s nine private rooms free to Speaker John A. Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama to hammer out an agreement over some spaghetti and meatballs,” the Carmine’s aide shared.

Clyde’s of Georgetown/3236 M St. NW

Tuesday-only shutdown specials include $3 canned beers, $4 drafts of Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy and Starr Hill Pils, $4 Absolut and Maker’s Mark cocktails, $4 fireball and rumchata shots, $5 glasses of Rosemount Shiraz and $10 blue plate specials.

Clyde’s of Chevy Chase/5441 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase, Md.

Badge-flashers receive 20 percent off their entire check (lobster special, excluded), Tuesday only.

The Coupe/3415 11th St. NW

Expanded Tuesday-only happy hour (2-8 p.m.) deals include 50-cent Sriracha chicken wings, house made deviled eggs (gravlax, chives, crème fraiche), Surryano ham-wrapped dates stuffed with Marcona almonds and Camembert, roasted corn hush puppies, $3 National Bohemians, $4 rum punch and $5 house wines.

Irish Whiskey Public House/1207 19th St. NW

Happy hour drinks and $1 appetizers available to badge-flashing feds until 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Nando’s Peri-Peri

The South African-style chicken joint has prepared a “Boneless Chicken, Spineless Congress” promotion whereby furloughed feds can enjoy a free butterflied chicken breast at any area location. Participants must claim the deal via Nando’s Facebook page and flash a valid ID.

“Members of Congress need not apply,” the restaurant specified in an email blast.

Sprinkles Cupcakes/3015 M St. NW

Sprinkles treated federal employees who flash a government ID to one free gourmet cupcake (any flavor) from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday.

October 1, 2013

Congress Can’t Shut Down Eleanor Holmes Norton’s Grand Opening

Congress Can’t Shut Down Eleanor Holmes Norton’s Grand Opening

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Lawmakers and staff might be having a rough go of it getting into the Capitol, but the doors of D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton’s new district office were wide open and teeming with people Tuesday evening during a festive welcome event.

“The Republicans can shut down the federal government, but it is my prerogative, under House guidelines, to decide whether to keep all employees working, and I have decided that our business of serving D.C. residents cannot stop,” she announced in a social-media blast heralding the open house for her office at 90 K St. NE.

An aide to the Democrat told HOH that the office has actually been in operation since April, replacing the now-shuttered space the local pol gave up in the National Press Building.

Well-wishers were still waiting for Norton to arrive when we visited Tuesday evening — she was actually on the House floor giving the GOP an earful about the budget impasse at that very moment — but appeared to be making do with the tasty nibbles (assorted sandwiches, cheese and fruit plates, gourmet cookies) and NoMa Business Improvement District swag bags provided for the event.

The office is expected to function 9-6 p.m., Monday through Friday, regardless of what Congress is up to.

Rogers, Rogers Everywhere

As the House debated how to resolve a government shutdown on the floor, HOH‘s friends at C-SPAN struggled to keep up with the cycle of floor speakers, mixing up House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., with House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky.

Rogers, Rogers Everywhere

Rep. Mike D. Rogers, R-Ala., must have felt left out.

Congressional Visitors Adjust to the New Normal

Congressional Visitors Adjust to the New Normal

(Screenshot)

A fellow CQ Roll Call scribe happened on a somewhat disoriented Rep. Jackie Speier escorting a handful of constituents around the eerily deserted entrance to the Capitol Visitor Center on Tuesday morning.

Per our tipster, the California Democrat asked an officer if she was allowed to be there, given the shutdown.

“You’re the boss,” the Capitol Police officer quipped.

Tea Party Really Bugs Lloyd Doggett

“Like those periodic cicadas that trouble different parts of the country — an irresponsible segment of the Republican House Caucus has reverted to the old GOP shenanigan of a government shutdown,” Texas Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett, urging House colleagues to squash agitators from the far right.

Freebies Galore for Congressional Castoffs (Updated)

Updated: 4:12 p.m. | That government ID card might be useless around the Capitol today, but plenty of local businesses are rolling out the red carpet to furloughees in need of gastrotherapy:

Art and Soul/415 New Jersey Ave. NW

Happy hour pricing — $4 regional draft beers, $5 appetizers, $7 cocktails and house wines — extended 4-8 p.m. until the shutdown ends. “Show us your government ID this week, and your second HH drink is on us,” a restaurant aide said.

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken/1308 G St. NW

One free doughnut with purchase of any doughnut or chicken order for any federal or D.C. government employee with ID.

Bayou Bakery/1515 N. Courthouse Road, Arlington, Va.

Free beignets with any coffee purchase to badge-flashing patrons. Owner David Guas is mulling additional deals and plans to offer something special each day until the shutdown ends.

Boundary Road/414 H St. NE

All-day furlough happy hour deals include $5 local beers, $5 Green Hat gin and tonics and the $7 “Nonessential Combo,” partnering a Narragansett Brewing Co. tall-boy with a shot of Old Overholt rye; no (federal) ID required.

Brasserie Beck/1101 K St. NW

Special two-course meal deal ($20) for all federal and military employees from open to close Tuesday, plus a $2 “Holy Acromonie Punt-e-mes,” featuring Jack Daniels cut with ginger beer and a cherry garnish.

Capitol Lounge/229 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

Offering one free draft beer to badge-flashing feds, Tuesday only.

Carmine’s/425 Seventh St. NW

Shutdown-inspired “Olive Branch” cocktail — fashioned from Plymouth gin, olives, pickled onions and rosemary — available for $12 a pop.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman suggested that CEO Jeff Bank would happily reserve one of the backrooms for a legislative huddle. “Bank says that deals are made over pasta, so he’s offering any of Carmine’s nine private rooms free to Speaker John A. Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Barack Obama to hammer out an agreement over some spaghetti and meatballs,” the Carmine’s aide shared.

Clyde’s of Georgetown/3236 M St. NW

Tuesday-only shutdown specials include $3 canned beers, $4 drafts of Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy and Starr Hill Pils, $4 Absolut and Maker’s Mark cocktails, $4 fireball and rumchata shots, $5 glasses of Rosemount Shiraz and $10 blue plate specials.

Clyde’s of Chevy Chase/5441 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase, Md.

Badge-flashers receive 20 percent off their entire check (lobster special, excluded), Tuesday only.

The Coupe/3415 11th St. NW

Expanded Tuesday-only happy hour (2-8 p.m.) deals include 50-cent Sriracha chicken wings, house made deviled eggs (gravlax, chives, crème fraiche), Surryano ham-wrapped dates stuffed with Marcona almonds and Camembert, roasted corn hush puppies, $3 National Bohemians, $4 rum punch and $5 house wines.

Granville Moore’s/1238 H St. NE

$3 “under pressure” barbecue pork belly bites on special today. $1 Stella Artois for as long as owner Teddy Folkman can swing them.

“We have 10 cases of Stella coming in today. So ’till we run out’ … kinda like the budget,” Folkman told HOH.

Hill Country Barbecue/410 Seventh St. NW

Happy hour drink prices — $3 Pabst Blue Ribbon, $5 well shots and cocktails, $5 margaritas and $20 pitchers of margaritas — in effect for anyone with a government ID until the shutdown ends.

Irish Whiskey Public House/1207 19th St. NW

Happy hour drinks and $1 appetizers available to badge-flashing feds until 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Johnny’s Half Shell/400 North Capitol St. NW

Newly minted cocktail “The Furloughed Fortune” — a red, white and blue cooler forged from dry gin, blue curacao, cranberry juice, lemon juice and simple syrup — available for $5 from 11:30 a.m. till closing, until the shutdown ends.

Mockingbird Hill/1843 Seventh St. NW

One free glass of sherry poured for badge-flashers from now until Thursday.

Nando’s Peri-Peri

The South African-style chicken joint has prepared a “Boneless Chicken, Spineless Congress” promotion whereby furloughed feds can enjoy a free butterflied chicken breast at any area location. Participants must claim the deal via Nando’s Facebook page and flash a valid ID.

“Members of Congress need not apply,” the restaurant specified in an email blast.

Passion Food Hospitality

All the Passion Food properties (DC Coast, Ceiba, Acadiana, District Commons, Burger Tap and Shake, Fuego, PassionFish) are in full-time happy hour mode — half-price appetizers, $5 margaritas — until the shutdown ends.

Pork Barrel BBQ/2132 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, Va.

The former Hill staffers behind this smokehouse are looking out for their own by serving up one pulled-pork sandwich, per day, to furloughed employees until the shutdown ends. ”Must have gov ID & EXCLUDES CONGRESSMEN,” the former congressional aides warned the Twittersphere.

Quill Bar and Lounge/1200 16th St. NW

$2 “furlough fries” available at the bar all day; no ID required.

Taqueria Nacional/1409 T St. NW

Daily happy hour deals — $2 margarita or draft beer with the purchase of any two tacos on Mondays, $1 taco with purchase of any margarita or beer on Tuesdays, $9 trio (chips and salsa, one taco, one margarita) are good anytime — extended from 11 a.m. to close, until the shutdown ends.

ThinkFoodGroup

Cheflebrity José Andrés is treating all furloughees to a free sandwich, available 3-5 p.m. daily at any TFG property (Jaleo, Oyamel, Zaytinya) until the shutdown ends. ID required.

Gratis foodstuffs, available for dine in or carryout, include:

Jaleo — Flauta de Jamon Serrano (Barcelona’s bread brushed with tomato and extra virgin olive oil, jamón Serrano, manchego cheese)

Oyamel — Torta Pancita (Spiced “36 hour” Shenandoah pork belly, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, Dijon mayonnaise)

Zaytinya — Chicken Schwarma (garlic-lemon marinated chicken, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, lavash bread with garlic sauce)

Urbana/2121 P St. NW

Progressive happy hour — usually in effect 4-7 p.m.; one extra hour will be tacked onto the tail end each night (so, 4-8 p.m. tonight, 4-9 p.m. Wednesday) — resetting every Monday, until the shutdown ends. Expect $1 oysters (served by the half- and full dozen), $5 bar snacks, $6 Absolut mixed drinks, $6 house wines and $7 specialty cocktails.

September 30, 2013

Hospitality Spots Offer Respite to Shutdown Victims

No one, particularly those who work in a town where oversized egos are more prevalent than America flag lapel pins, wants to think of himself as being non-essential.

Hospitality Spots Offer Respite to Shutdown Victims

(Courtesy Sprinkles Cupcakes)

The good news is, even if you awaken Tuesday only to discover you are not the lifeblood of the federal government, the local restaurant scene wants to make sure that, at the very least, you won’t starve to death.

Sprinkles Cupcakes (3015 M St. NW) will treat federal employees who flash a government ID to one free gourmet cupcake (any flavor) from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday.

Chainlet Z-Burger is going bigger, pledging one free burger (plain, cheese or bacon-topped) for badge-flashing feds — and D.C. government aides — at lunch (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) and dinner (5-7 p.m.) at any of its four locations for the duration of any shutdown.

Need something a little stronger?

Port City Brewing Co. is shaving 20 percent off draft pints and growler fills of the Essential Pale Ale for those who trek out to the Alexandria, Va., (3950 Wheeler Ave.) tasting room; no staff ID required. Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 5:16 p.m.
Booze, Food, Restos, Staffers

Jared Polis’ Green Eggs and Slam

Monday is the deadline day for third quarter fundraising — and over the past several days, House and Senate campaigns and committees flooded inboxes with donor solicitations.

Most are boring and banal sources of manufactured outrage. But we spotted a true diamond in the rough.

Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., emailed his supporter list Sunday with a poem mocking Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz’s reading of “Green Eggs and Ham” on the Senate floor last week.

“No, I do not like Ted Cruz reading Green Eggs and Ham,” Polis wrote. “And shutting down government without giving a damn, // No I do not like it, I do not like it, // I do not like it, patriot I am.”

He scores extra points for his rhyming prowess: “I will not insure your child with asthma // I will not insure your disorder of plasma.”

Polis is not in a competitive district, but he is the national chairman for candidates services at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Shutdown Kills Dog, Panda Shows

With neither chamber looking like it’ll blink ahead of a government-wide shutdown, animal lovers all over town are bracing for a cold and heartless world devoid of cute and fuzzy moments.

Shutdown Kills Dog, Panda Shows

(CQ Roll Call photo illustration)

Lawmakers hoping to convince Amtrak to allow household pets to travel on its passenger trains were scheduled to plead their case Wednesday morning outside Union Station. But the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council shelved the animal-friendly photo op due to logistical uncertainty.

“The location of our press conference, Columbus Plaza, is administered by the National Park Service and we have been informed that in the event of a shutdown, all permits for special events are canceled. Given that possibility and the fact that we have participants coming in from out of town, we didn’t want to wait until the last minute to make our decision,” Mike Bober, PIJAC vice president of government affairs told HOH.

Meanwhile, the National Zoo alerted fans that a shutdown would force it to pull the plug on the dozen-plus animal cams that provide a real-time peek at the activities of assorted critters — including the newly arrived Sumatran tiger cubs feed, and D.C.’s most cherished bandwidth-suck, the Giant Panda Cam — until further notice.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 4:38 p.m.
Critters, DC

Al Franken Rocks Paul Simon Connection

Minnesota Democratic Sen. Al Franken is dangling a major-league get in front of those who might be on the fence about giving to his re-election campaign: an intimate evening with award-winning musician Paul Simon.

Al Franken Rocks Paul Simon Connection

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Franken bills the semi-secret show — his famously media averse press office declined to tell HOH anything about the upcoming performance, scheduled to take place somewhere in D.C. on Friday  — as the “Best Concert Ever” on his campaign site.

Potential attendees are, of course, invited to contribute anywhere from $5 to $2,600 for the chance to huddle with the activist crooner (estimated value of prize: $3,000), but no money need change hands to actually enter. All entries must be received by 11:59 tonight.

“Sen. Franken has known Paul Simon for 38 years (he was one of the hosts the first season of “Saturday Night Live”) and they have kept in touch ever since,” was all a Franken aide would say of the boss’s relationship with the celebrated singer. The duo could certainly have a long and illustrious history together, given that Simon appeared on SNL, either as host or as the featured musical act, at least nine times during Franken’s roughly 15 years on the show.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 2:38 p.m.
Celebs, DC, Sens

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