Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 25, 2014

November 27, 2013

Overheard: Neil Cavuto’s Fascinating If/Then Statement

“By the way, if I had a dime for every time my wife was reassessing everything I decided, I could write Encyclopedia Britannica, but I digress.”

— Neil Cavuto, in the midst of interviewing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Fox News on Tuesday.

By Jason Dick Posted at 10:59 a.m.
Overheards

November 26, 2013

Murkowski, Fellow Alaskans Give Thanks

With the holiday season in full swing, Sen. Lisa Murkowski is using social media to poll those in the Last Frontier about that which they are most thankful for.

The Alaska Republican launched her #AKThanks campaign Nov. 22, urging her Web-connected constituents to share snippets of what makes their home state so great. The project will culminate today with the release of the “Appreciating Alaska” mini-documentary Murkowski is producing in conjunction with the Alaska Channel.

She got the ball rolling late last week with a video valentine to the frozen stuff that’s already threatening to paralyze the Mid-Atlantic region over the next few days:

“As an Alaskan, I am always thankful for winter,” she notes on YouTube before launching into a rundown of the meteorological hits Seward’s Icebox has already sustained this year — slipping in what would seem to be a prescient dig about the District’s precipitation-based mania.

“I’ve got this little motto: Keep calm and think snow,” she quips.

Her fellow Alaskans, meanwhile, have expressed love for all kinds of stuff, including:

 

The Affordable Care Act Full story

Radel Press Crew Jumps Into Kurt Bardella’s Waiting Arms

As Mark Leibovich wrote on Twitter in response to the news, “#ThisTown writes itself.”

Indeed.

Radel Press Crew Jumps Into Kurt Bardellas Waiting Arms

Bardella, right, has some company in his communications startup. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As if the cocaine-busted Rep. Trey Radel needed another problem, he now has an empty press shop to deal with.

His communications director, Amanda Nunez, and a press aide, Caitlin Rush, announced Monday that they were leaving the Florida Republican’s office to join Endeavor Strategic Communications, the public relations shop headed by Kurt Bardella, former press aide, most famously, for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. #ThisTown

Bardella started Endeavor in September as a PR firm that “specializes” in a number of image management fields, including “crisis communications.”

All three players have some experience in that one field.

Full story

Senator Wants Chatty Future Air Travelers to Get Off His Lawn

Bad news potentially promiscuous air travelers: Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., doesn’t want to know about your “last night’s love life.”

Senator Wants Chatty Future Air Travelers to Get Off His Lawn

Alexander: Not a fan of cellphone use on planes. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Alexander issued a statement on the eve of one of the busiest air travel days of the year urging Federal Communications Commission heads to ban phone calls on planes, even as the Federal Aviation Administration announced it would ease its cellphone policy.
The old-man statement — which this HOH scribe endorses and thinks you will, too — is too good not to publish in its entirety: Full story

Overheard: Obama’s Genuine Beliefs

“I think he genuinely believes in dialogue.”

— Rep. Peter T. King, speaking on Fox News today about President Barack Obama and the Iran nuclear deal.

By Jason Dick Posted at 12:03 p.m.
Overheards, POTUS, Reps

November 25, 2013

Turkey Hill Farm Prepares to Welcome Presidential Birds

Turkey Hill Farm Prepares to Welcome Presidential Birds

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

LEESBURG, Va. — Franklin, the one-and-a-half-year-old Bronze turkey who currently has the Morven Park staff all to himself, will be getting some high-profile roomies early next year. That’s when the gobblers President Barack Obama is scheduled to pardon Wednesday afternoon in the Rose Garden will make their way west to their new home, Turkey Hill Farm.

The reprieve for the twin birds coming from Badger, Minn., will mark a quarter-century of forgiveness handed down by consecutively sitting presidents.

Turkey Hill Farm Prepares to Welcome Presidential Birds

(Courtesy Pete Souza/White House)

Previously pardoned presidential birds have been retired to local sites including Frying Pan Park in Herndon, Va., and, most recently, Mount Vernon estate. Of course, being pardoned doesn’t prevent the grim reaper from eventually coming a-calling.

Morven Park spokeswoman Teresa Davenport and the rest of the staff that tends to the sprawling Leesburg estate once owned by the late Virginia Gov. Westmoreland Davis are hoping this year’s turkeys will thrive in their new facility. Full story

McMorris Rodgers Gives Birth to Her Third Child

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers gave birth to her third child, Brynn Catherine, early Sunday morning.

McMorris Rodgers Gives Birth to Her Third Child

(Courtesy Cathy McMorris Rodgers)

The Washington Republican’s latest bundle of joy, who clocked in at 7 pounds, 6 ounces, arrived at 6:19 a.m. Sunday — slightly earlier than her December due date.

“Nothing compares to the miracle of bringing a new life into the world,” McMorris Rodgers said alongside a photo posted on her Instagram account Monday afternoon. “She’s beautiful and seems to be taking it all in stride. Our hearts are full.”

All three of McMorris Rodgers’ children were born while she was serving in Congress. She and her husband, Brian, welcomed Cole in April 2007 and Grace in December 2010.

The new addition to the McMorris Rodgers family continues the recent House baby boom. Fellow Republicans Kevin Yoder of Kansas and Brad Wenstrup of Ohio both became fathers earlier this month.

Stocking Stuffers Galore in House Gift Shop

Still wrestling with what to get loved ones mildly liked ones this holiday season?

Stocking Stuffers Galore in House Gift Shop

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Has the House Gift Shop got a deal for you!

On Dec. 2, nearly everything in stock will be 10 percent off. That’s right, bargain hunters, 10 percent off almost everything awkwardly stamped with a congressional seal. Staff said the discount does not apply to any of the Tiffany & Co. items (the sterling silver collection ranges from an $80 necklace with House seal-emblazoned charm to a $300 bracelet with a similar charm), 2013 holiday ornaments or special orders.

Stocking Stuffers Galore in House Gift Shop

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

This year’s official holiday ornament features a mini Statue of Freedom purportedly carved from pieces of marble removed during a previous restoration. Full story

Tortilla Coast Caters to Black Friday Crowd

We’ve already laid out a cornucopia of options for those who prefer to let others do the cooking on Turkey Day. Now the Clover Restaurant Group wants to take care of those in need of sustenance during the most hectic shopping day of the year.

In a bid to woo Black Friday bargain hunters (and folks who might already need a break from leftover bird), the proprietors of the Tortilla Coast and Café Deluxe chainlets have decided to serve brunch at all their restaurants on Nov. 29.

The flagship Tortilla Coast (400 First St. SE) — aka Texas Republican Ted Cruz’s clubhouse — will dish out brunch specialties from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Featured items include: short stacks of buttermilk pancakes, fajita steak and eggs, Captain Crunch-studded brioche French toast, huevos rancheros, chorizo-laced breakfast burritos and spinach-mushroom omelets.

The Logan Circle Tortilla Coast (1460 P St. NW) will offer its brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Featured items include: scrambled-egg-filled enchiladas, short rib breakfast tacos, chilaquiles, cornmeal-banana pancakes and Mexican toast (corn flake-crusted brioche, sweet crème fraiche, assorted berries, orange syrup).

No doubt the signature frozen margaritas will also be flowing like water.

November 24, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving From Capitol Quip!

Happy Thanksgiving From Capitol Quip!

Happy Thanksgiving from Capitol Quip! So as not to force any readers to vote for their favorite Capitol Quip caption in a tryptophan-induced food coma on Thanksgiving Day, this one’s on us! We’re going to let the image speak for itself.

We’ll be back next week with a brand-new Capitol Quip on Dec. 1 on this blog and in the following print edition of Roll Call. Until then, have a safe and happy Turkey Day!

To see our previous winners, check us out on Pinterest.

By Jason Dick Posted at 7:05 p.m.
Capitol Quip

A Kick and a Miss | Capitol Quip

A Kick and a Miss | 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.

November 22, 2013

On Reddit AMA, Niels Lesniewski Discusses Nuclear Option, Movember

Roll Call’s own Niels Lesniewski took to Reddit Friday to field questions about what happened in the Senate Thursday in the wake of the nuclear option being triggered.

On Reddit AMA, Niels Lesniewski Discusses Nuclear Option, Movember

Lesniewski with his favorite reading material, Riddick’s Senate Procedure. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

His “Ask Me Anything” thread is still live on the site.

“Democrats seem to have decided that being able to get President Obama’s nominees confirmed outweighed the risks of the next Republican president doing the same,” he wrote of the historic change to the Senate’s rules.

Redditor arrggg asked what the most monumental rules change was previously.

“This was probably the biggest change since 1975, when they reduced the number needed to break most filibusters from two-thirds to 60 votes,” Lesniewski responded.

But not all the questions were so serious.  Full story

Congressional Hits and Misses (Video) | Week of 11/18/13

From being fed up with task force after task force to parliamentary points of order, expect the unexpected on the House and Senate floor in this week’s Congressional Hits and Misses.

JFK’s Roll Call Testimonial

As a member of Congress who made his way to the White House, John F. Kennedy never forgot his Capitol Hill roots. In the days after the president’s funeral, Roll Call’s editorial on Nov. 27, 1963, recalled that Kennedy wrote to us the year before, on the occasion of our seventh anniversary, to wish us well:

“The original aims of your newspaper — to provide the members and staffs on Capitol Hill with a weekly medium of news about each other and to inject a healthy spirit of fun into the proceedings of Congress — have been admirably fulfilled. We on this end of Pennsylvania Avenue will continue to count on ROLL CALL for the excellent ‘under the dome’ coverage it provides.”

As Roll Call founder Sid Yudain wrote in the editorial: “No newspaperman could wish for a greater testimonial.”

Georgetowners Toasting JFK in Neighborhood Tribute

Capitol Hill veteran-turned-lobbyist Bill Broydrick on Friday is following in President John F. Kennedy’s historic footsteps, rounding up those who share a postal code with the late Massachusetts Democrat for a commemorative drink.

“My wife Cindi and I live on the same block as President Kennedy did when he was elected President,” Broydrick told HOH in an email, putting himself in the proximity of the love nest JFK and Jackie shared at 3307 N. St. NW during his 1960 campaign. “We have invited all of our neighbors to share a drink and toast to JFK at Martin’s Tavern where JFK asked Jackie to marry him.”

Per Broydrick, this is the first time he’s attempted to orchestrate such a pilgrimage; just more than a dozen neighbors — including the folks currently residing in the old Kennedy roost — have agreed to make the trek. Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 12:03 p.m.
Booze, DC, POTUS, VIPs

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